Cebu province earmarks half of monthly IRA as financial aid to local gov't units
CEBU, Philippines – Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said over the weekend that half of the province’s monthly Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) will be dedicated to assist its component cities and municipalities as they all continue to implement the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In a press conference on Saturday, April 18, Garcia said that some P159 million from the Cebu provincial government’s funds will be used to augment the relief operations of local government units (LGUs).
However, it has yet to be determined if the funds will be downloaded directly to the LGUs or will be used to purchase relief goods to be distributed to the residents.
“We will decide on which would be the easiest [to implement],” Garcia said in Cebuano.
Garcia said that downloading the funds would be based on per capita of every LGU.
Municipalities that are considered lower income class would get a bigger share of the fund, she explained.
Earlier this month, Cebu province allocated P376 million worth of public funds under the Assistance for Local Government Units.
LGUs with lower ranking were given more aid compared to high-ranking ones. The classifications were based on population, class ranking, and income.
The provincial government also issued guidelines to LGUs on what basic goods should be procured with the financial aid. It also determined a price cap for the items to maximize the funds.
LGUs are also required submit a liquidation of their procurement.
Garcia said that the LGUs have until April 30 to “spend” the first tranche of aid released last month.
“Those LGUs that did not spend much and still have money left, we won’t be replenishing their funds,” Garcia said.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Cebu province estimated it would earn as much as P12 billion in 2020, primarily from real property taxes, quarry operations, and revenues from district and provincial hospitals and the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
The amount is about 3 times higher than the provincial government’s projected income in 2019. – Rappler.com