DBM to release P7 billion in financial support to LGUs

By Mary Grace Padin

MANILA, Philippines — The government has earmarked P7.03 billion in financial assistance to local government units (LGU) to support their various programs and projects, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno issued Local Budget Circular 117, providing the guidelines on the release and utilization of the local government support fund (LGSF)- financial assistance (FA) to LGU amounting to P7.03 billion under the 2018 budget.

According to Diokno, the amount would be used as financial support to LGUs for the implementation of programs and projects listed under Special Provision 1 of the LGSF in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

These projects include assistance to indigent families, such as medical, burial, transportation, food, cash for work, and educational assistance; purchase of ambulances, mini dump trucks, firetrucks, multicabs, and police patrol cars; purchase and installation of barangay electrification and traffic lights; and purchase of insurance coverage under the Government Service Insurance System for public facilities against natural calamities.

It can also be utilized for the construction, rehabilitation or repair of local roads and bridges, public markets, slaughterhouses, multi-purpose buildings, drainage canals, water systems, evacuation centers, public parks, cemeteries, and sport facilities, among others.

To request for funds, the DBM said the concerned LGUs should file request letters signed by their local chief executive, and submit the letters to the DBM through its regional offices.

The DBM said the requests must be supported by the list of priority programs and project to be implemented by the LGU, signed by the local chief executive, and other applicable documents depending on the type of program or project being proposed to be funded.

However, the budget department warned that the LGSF-FA to LGUs must not be used for any purpose other than the program or project for which the fund was released.

The LGSF also cannot be used to fund projects already covered by other funds, nor can it be used to pay for personal services expenditures, such as salaries, bonuses, allowances and other forms of compensation.

“Disbursement and utilization by the LGUs shall be subject to pertinent provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act 9184) and its 2016 revised implementing rules and regulation, and any relevant policies released by the Government Procurement Policy Board, as well as the applicable budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulation,” the circular read.

According to the DBM, the beneficiary LGU would be required to submit quarterly reports on the utilization of the fund, as well as the status of the program or project implementation.

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