Iloilo province extends P43.5 million in aid to 43 LGUs in coronavirus fight
ILOILO, Philippines – Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has greenlit the release of P43.5 million in financial aid, as it distributes an emergency fund of at least P1 million to each of the province’s 43 towns and municipalities.
Iloilo's local government units have each been allotted P1 million in financial assistance to equip them in the war against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The municipality of Guimbal, which reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 earlier this week, is set to receive P1.5 million.
The funds will be at the disposal of town mayors. However, Defensor instructed that the aid may only be used to purchase resources necessary during this COVID-19 crisis. The governor highlighted the need to buy personal protective equipment, thermal scanners, disinfectants, as well as other supplies for the province’s district hospitals, as well as food packs for those on the front line and relief goods for those displaced from work by the novel coronavirus’ spread.
“Our mayors are the front-liners that is why we are capacitating them. They need capacity to provide transportation to frontline workers to and from the city and also to strengthen their relief operations,” Defensor said in a statement.
The governor hopes the funds to better capacitate mayors to be proactive in the war against COVID-19, acknowledging that the local governments have been depleting their coffers to address the needs of the Ilonggos during this pressing time.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 81 issued by the governor on March 24, the local government units will be required to submit liquidation reports ofon their financial assistance fund spending.
With Executive Order No. 80, Defensor placed the whole province of Iloilo on community quarantine on March 15. The governor earlier this week extended the order to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for the entire province, set to last until April 14. With the ECQ, Iloilo towns are implementing stricter border restrictions and strategic checkpoints. Ilonggos are being encouraged to stay in their respective houses and practice home quarantine. Classes in all levels are also suspended during this period.
The Department of Health Region 6 reported two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iloilo Province on late Friday, March 27, bringing the province’s total to 3. DOH-6 enumerated the patients as a 22-year-old female from Miag-ao and Iloilo, a 59-year-old female from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. A 65-year-old male from the Guimbal, Iloilo was reported as the province’s first confirmed COVID-19 case last Saturday, March 21. – Rappler.com