MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said that local government units (LGU) are allowed to use its 20% development fund to undertake measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in their areas.
The DILG said it has signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, series of 2020 with the Department of Budget and Management, giving leeway for the LGUs to utilize their development fund to continue to provide basic services to their constituents.
“With the signing of the JMC, we are giving LGUs more flexibility in using their development fund for disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and to continue to provide basic services to their constituents who are severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
Under the JMC, LGUs may use their 20% development fund for the procurement of personal protective equipment, hospital equipment, and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, and other supplies or misting equipment, and COVID-19 testing kits, reagents, and equipment.
Food, transportation, and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other LGU personnel directly involved in the implementation of COVID-19-related initiatives as well as food assistance and relief goods for affected households may also be charged to the development fund.
Expenses for the construction or rental of additional spaces to accommodate COVID-19 PUIs and PUMs as well as for the operation of stand-alone or mobile testing laboratories may also be funded out of the development fund.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, however, clarified that there are also limitations in using the fund.
“Hindi ito puwedeng gamitin para bumili ng furniture, fixture[s], appliances at motor vehicles,” Malaya said.
The fund also does not cover personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay and other personnel benefits.
Administrative expenses such as supplies, meetings, communication, water and electricity, petroleum products, other general services, as well as registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions as well as traveling expenses cannot also be charged to the development fund.