LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Governor Ramil Hernandez has asked for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to expand the reach of its financial assistance amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the province.
This, as the distribution of the emergency cash assistance has been limited to those included in the list of the “priority target beneficiaries”.
However, in a letter sent to DBM secretary Wendel Avisado on Thursday, Hernandez appealed to make it available to all the Laguna residents.
He said that he wrote it on behalf of all the mayors of Laguna’s 24 municipalities and six cities.
“Relative to the guidelines on the release and utilization of the financial assistance to cities and municipalities, may I inquire if the local government units (LGU’s) in the province of Laguna may be allowed to deviate from the general guidelines stipulated in the joint memorandum circular (JMC) in terms of priority target beneficiaries as this issue has been raised to me by the mayors of Laguna,” the letter read.
Hernandez was referring to the JMC No. 1-2021 issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of National Defense.
Hernandez said the appeal is in line with a clause in the JMC’s guidelines giving the LGUs the discretion to formulate the best way to distribute the aid.
“It is stated in the general guidelines that LGU’s shall determine the most efficient and effective way to release the financial assistance. Thus, the mayors are proposing equal sharing of grants for all households within the municipalities/cities to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to help and reach all our people thru this financial assistance. In this manner, the principles of equal rights and inclusivity shall be guaranteed making all the families who admittedly are all affected by this pandemic shall be given assistance,” Hernandez wrote.
He added that this is to ensure that every household shall have access to programs and services which will certainly ease the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is also an avenue to fast track the financial distribution urgently needed by all of our people and not exclusively to be granted only to the limited target beneficiaries,” he added.
Laguna, along with the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal and Metro Manila are under enhanced community quarantine until April 11. (PNA)