By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Following a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and corresponding notices of cash allocation that will serve as financial assistance to local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) bubble while under enhanced community quarantine status.
DBM disclosed that the SARO and cash allocation has amounted to more than P22.915 billion, which represents the financial assistance that was approved by the President to be released to local all LGUs in the NCR as well as the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (now collectively known as NCR Plus), that were placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 04, the current year.
The financial assistance is intended to assist 80 percent of the population of NCR Plus who belong to low-income households. They are entitled to receive P1,000 per person but not to exceed P4,000 per family either in cash or in kind based on the most efficient and effective mechanism to be identified by their respective LGUs.
Around 22.915-million individuals are expected to benefit from this financial assistance based on projections from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
To fast-track, the release and distribution of the financial assistance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been ordered to assist the LGUs in its implementation for the targeted beneficiaries.
Consistent with the President’s directive, beneficiaries of earlier Social Amelioration Programs (SAP) of the DSWD shall be prioritized as beneficiaries of this financial assistance and the complete list of beneficiaries shall be posted in conspicuous places in the LGU and submitted to the DBM, the Commission on Audit and other agencies as required under existing laws, rules and regulations.
The financial assistance will be released by the BTr to the LGUs through their authorized government servicing bank accounts. Specific details and allocations of each city and municipality in the NCR Plus are provided under Local Budget Circular No. 136, which may be accessed from the DBM website: https://www.dbm.gov.ph/index.php/280-latest-issuances/local-budget-circular/local-budget-circular-2021/1841-local-budget-circular-no-136
The DBM assured the public of its commitment to fulfilling its mandate of promoting the efficient and effective management of the national budget to support its budget priorities while also ensuring that the needs of the Filipino people, especially during challenging times such as the health crisis brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AI/MTVN)