MANILA, Philippines – According to the executive, local government units only liquidated 15% of COVID-19 funds. President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said that as of June 25, that was the only number existent in the audits.
Under Bayanihan law, the president was able to reallocate the budget for the pandemic. He had the discretion to discontinue resource support for other programs and intensify efforts for COVID-19 funds.
With the withdrawal of funding for select projects for 2019 and 2020,a major chunk of COVID-19 funds went to the LGUs.
Within the COVID-19 fund, the budget department released P30.82 billion for the one-time financial assistance under the LGUs. Under the Local Budget Circular No. 125, city government are required to follow standard finance procedures.
Moreover, city halls should perform auditing, regulating, and accounting the funds. On top, the law also required city offices to submit liquidation reports.
In the report, the president told the congress that only 275 LGUs compliednto the rules.
Data from his 14th report showed that out of the huge sum released, they only liquidated P5.493 billion.
The Bayanihan Act expired last June 25. The said legislation allowed the president to have emergency powers in response to the pandemic.
Currently, the congress adjourned its session without ut passing the Bayanihan II. However, agencies with unused funds will return momeu when the president lifts the state of calamity is lifted.
Within the report, the president showed that the biggest chunk of COVID-19 fund went to relief operations. LGUs received P3.13 billion for aids and food substances.
Also, the president also bragged that the 205-million budget for the social amelioration program. He said that over 17.65 milliom household received the said monetary aide.The said number was covered under the French