Senator Win Gatchalian is calling on the government to provide financial support to Local Government Units (LGUs) after Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan reverted to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Gatchalian said officials of Local Government Units (LGUs) — from the mayors down to the “barangay tanods” are themselves front liners because they are at the forefront of delivering services to their respective constituents and the most vulnerable to contract the virus.
“Marami sa mga taga LGUs, lalo na ang mga tanod, ay nahahawaan na rin ng virus. Importanteng matulungan sila ng gobyerno dahil sila ang direktang nakikisalamuha sa mga residente at pumupunta sa mga bahay sa komunidad,” Gatchalian said.
The Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) is expected to capacitate LGUs, according to the senator, as it allows them to exercise autonomy while fully cooperating with the national government towards a unified, cohesive, and orderly implementation of the national policy to address CoViD-19.
Bayanihan 2 authorizes all LGUs to have 5% of the amount allocated for their calamity fund subject to additional funding and support from the National Government.
“Kailangang maaprubahan na ang Bayanhan 2, yan ang schedule namin sa lalong madaling panahon. Kailangang may basehang batas para maibigay ang buong suporta sa mga LGUs,” said Gatchalian.
Aside from its involvement in the distribution of cash aid to the people in their localities, community and barangay officials help in the delivery of goods and other essential services. LGUs have also been tasked to carefully issue Quarantine Passes anew just to ensure that only one person per household would be allowed to go out to avail of basic goods and services.
While barangay health workers share in the rigid process of proper contact tracing, local police commanders have started to man checkpoints round the clock at the boundary of towns and cities under MECQ or within the National Capital Region (NCR), Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite in order to contain the movement of the people.
“They are always in the first line of defense that is why it is important that the national government recognizes the significant role of the LGUs in the COVID-19 response and recovery,” Gatchalian stressed.