Lacwasan explains P35.3M Bayanihan grant use

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. denied earlier allegations of some concerned sectors in the province on the alleged use of the bulk of the province’s Bayanihan grant in improving of the Bontoc General Hospital (BOGH), saying that the provincial government equitably distributed the P35.3 million share of the province to specific items allowed under existing budget rules and regulations.

Lacwasan disclosed that the P35.3 million Bayanihan grant of Mountain Province was covered by Appropriation Ordinance No. 2020-04 approved by the provincial board on April 16, 2020.

Under the aforesaid ordinance, the funds were equitably distributed to the maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay under the Provincial Governor’s Office to ensure the provincial government’s aggressive campaign against the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the province.

Based on the aforesaid ordinance expenditures are training expenses – P300,000, laundry – P300,000; janitorial – P300,000; maintenance of duly established provincial checkpoints – P5 million; food supply expenses – P1 million; drugs and medicine expenses – P5 million; medical supplies – P8 million; laboratory supply expenses – P3 million; x-ray and ultrasound supplies – P800,000; fuel, oil and lubricants expenses – P300,000; repair and maintenance of buildings and other hospital facilities – P2 million

In terms of capital outlay, the ordinance earmarked some P9.3 million for the procurement of various hospital equipment that include medical ventilator for adult and pedia, nebulizers, bio-refrigerator, biosafety cabinet and cardiac monitor with defibrillator.

The ordinance authorized the provincial government to augment any item in the approved supplemental budget from savings and other items with the same expense class and for the said purpose, augmentation implies the existence in the budget an item, project, activity or purpose with an appropriation which, upon implementation or subsequent evaluation of needed resources, is determined to be deficient.

Lacwasan emphasized that clearly, the allegations of some sectors in the province that the P30 million from the Bayanihan grant was solely used for the improvement of the BOGH has no basis because the equitable distribution of the funds was pursuant to the prescribed budgetary rules and regulations that had been issued by the budget department.

The governor appealed to the people of the province not to believe on the falsehoods being circulated on the alleged misuse of the province’s Bayanihan grant because the same is obviously tainted with personal and political interests of those who are behind the campaign to ruin the image of his administration, especially that the province was able to sustain its COVID-free status for over two and a half months before the discovery of the first case who is a close contact of a confirmed case in Benguet.

Lacwasan stated that the provincial government remains focused in the strict implementation of established health and safety protocols to sustain the gains of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because what is important is the protection of the health and safety of the populace, especially from being exposed to confirmed cases in their areas.

By Hent

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