LGUs told infrastructure projects are priority in 2020 budget’s P4.9B support fund
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has ordered local governments to give priority to infrastructure projects in the use of their share in 2020’s support funding.
At least P4.9 billion had been earmarked in the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget as support fund for local government units, according to acting Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado, in a budget circular issued last Jan. 31.
The newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), however, was not on the list of local governments qualified for the support funding.
Every other province, city, town and village may dip into the support fund.
Avisado’s circular, however, asked the local governments to spend their share in the support fund on infrastructure projects first.
Among these projects are improvement or repair of bridges and roads, public markets, slaughterhouses, multipurpose buildings and pavements, drainage canals, river and sea walls, water systems, evacuation centers, public parks, fish ports and post harvest facilities.
The fund may also be used to purchase ambulances, trucks, small vans, but these are not priority. The money may also be used for sports facilities and programs, street lights and connect villages to electricity. It may also be used to finance aid for mental health patients, the DBM chief added.
Avisado, however, said the support fund was under “conditional implementation” which President Rodrigo Duterte outlined in a message he wrote on the 2020 national budget when he signed it into law.
Duterte’s message was for local governments to ensure that the support fund would be used “only for priority development programs and projects” and only “when said programs and projects” cannot be financed with available local government funds.
Since the President was pushing for “Build, Build, Build” to take shape, “priority on the use” of the support funds “shall be given to infrastructure projects that are aligned” with the ambitious infrastructure program of Duterte.