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DBM releases P1.7B IRA funds for Bicol towns

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.7 billion funds to various towns and cities across the Bicol region under the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, which provides emergency measures to respond to crisis brought by the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

DBM issued on Tuesday Local Budget Circular (LBC)No. 125, which provides the guideline on the release and utilization of the Bayanihan grant to cities and municipalities (BGCM) in the entire country.

A copy of the circular showed that: Camarines Sur province with 35 town would receive P441.2 million; Masbate with 20 towns,P245 million; Albay with 15 towns,P211.8 million; Sorsogon with 14 towns,P167.5 million; Camarines Norte with 12 town,P162.3 million; and Catandaunes with 11 towns,P96.9 million.

The seven cities in Bicol get a total of P397.7 million with: Sorsogon, P68.6 million; Legazpi, P 63.2 million; Ligao City,P57.7 million; Naga City,P57.6 million; Tabaco City, P50.8 million; Masbate City,P50.6 million; and Iriga City, P49 million.

DBM Sec. Wendel Avisado, in the LBC said that the BGCM fund is equivalent to the one month of the 2020 internal revenue share of the cities and municipalities.

Under the guidelines, the BGCM funds could be used in buying personal protective equipment (PPE), reagents and kits of Covid-19 testing, medicines and vitamins, hospital equipment and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, supplies and misting equipment.

Other expenses include food, transportation and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other local government unit (LGU) personnel directly involve in the implementation of Covid-19 related activities.

Expenses for food assistance and other relief goods for affected households and for the construction/repair/lease/rental of additional space/building to accommodate Covid-19 patients and persons under monitoring and investigation

Expenses not allowed under the guidelines include expenses for cash assistance, personal services, administrative and traveling expenses and registration fees in training, seminars and conferences.

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