DBM finds use of P34.3 million Bayanihan grant by MP in order

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Cordillera office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-CAR) declared that Appropriation Ordinance 2020-04 or the measure that appropriated the P35.3 million Bayanihan grant to be operative in its entirety pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act of 2020, although subject to conditions, among others.

DBM-CAR regional director Irene Gahid stated the Mountain Province government consequently complied with the conditions stipulated in the agency’s review of the same.

Under the conditions per review letter dated April 29, 2020, discrepancies in the project titles of various programs, projects and activities under the ordinance vis-à-vis the 2020 supplemental annual investment program be reconciled; the disbursements of lump sum appropriations in the amount of P21 million shall be subject to the authorization of the provincial board on the programs, projects and activities to be implemented.

In compliance to the aforesaid conditions, the provincial government submitted to the DBM-CAR Resolution No. 2020-299 dated June 30, 2020 which reconciled the discrepancies on the earlier identified project titles, thus, the DBM-CAR found the action of the province in order and compliant with earlier conditions.

Further, the provincial government submitted Resolution No. 2020-238 which authorized the detailed list of programs, projects and activities, supplies and materials to be funded under the lump sum appropriations, thus, the DBM-CAR also found the same to be in order and compliant to earlier conditions as per the agency’s review letter.

Gahid pointed out that notwithstanding the finding, it was emphasized in the agency’s review letter that the Bayanihan grant to local governments shall be utilized only for programs, projects and activities authorized under previous budget circulars.

Likewise, she claimed that actual disbursements shall be subject to all existing laws, rules and regulations, including procurement, budgeting, accounting, auditing and the civil service laws and compliance to the same shall be the responsibility of the province.

Earlier, the provincial board passed Appropriation Ordinance No. 2020-04 for the implementation of various Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) related programs, projects and activities under the Bayanihan grant to provinces amounting to P35.3 million.

According to her, the Bayanihan grant was released to the different local government units to augment the funding requirements for the operation of provincial, district and other local hospitals operated by the provincial government and maintenance of established provincial checkpoints related to COVID-19 in support to the on-going efforts of the national government to respond to the prevailing health crisis due to the deadly virus.

For the provinces, the Bayanihan grant is equivalent to one-half of the one month internal revenue allotment (IRA) share of provinces based on the 2020 annual budget in which case, Mountain Province received an allocation of more than P35.3 million that was subsequently appropriated through the appropriation measure enacted by the provincial board. By Hent

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