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Gwen hikes Prov’l Board Members’ Local Assistance Fund from P5M to P10M in 2020

By: Rosalie Abatayo December 10,2019 - 08:21 PM

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia discusses before the over 1,000 barangay captains of the province the items that will no longer be included in the local assistance fund (LAF) that will be extended by the Capitol to the barangays.| Rosalie O. Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Each of the 17 members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan would already have P10 million of Local Assistance Fund (LAF), Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.

This is twice the present allocation which is at P5 million for each legislator.

LAF is the budget of each board member for their assistance to the local government units, especially the barangays, from their respective districts.

But doubling the LAF did not mean that barangays could ask assistance for all of their projects, Garcia warned.

During the general assembly of the 1,093 village chiefs, Garcia presented a new set of guidelines that would define what projects might be funded by the LAF and how the barangays could avail of the LAF from the board members, the Vice Governor and the Office of the Governor.

Garcia said at least 70 percent of the LAF of the board members should be spent on “hard” or infrastructure projects.

“Ang atong tagaan gayud og importansiya, kadto unang mga proyekto nga makahatag og labaw nga kabulahanan sa kadaghanan, kadtong mga proyekto nga molungtad, ang mga proyekto nga mohatag og benepisyo sa katawhan nga atong gialagaran,” Garcia said.

(We would want to give importance first on projects that are more advantageous, lasting and would benefit the people that we serve.)

Unlike present practice where the barangays just submit a resolution asking for aid from the Capitol any time of the year, Garcia has set a timeline for the giving of assistance to the barangays.

For infrastructure projects, Garcia said all resolutions asking assistance for the “hard” projects should be submitted before January 30, 2020.

A detailed program of works should also be attached to the resolution once they are submitted to the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO).

From February to March, Garcia said, personnel from the PPDO would conduct a validation on the sites where the projects were proposed to be implemented.

Once validated, the procurement process will be carried out begin in April while the implementation of the projects starts as early as June.

For socio-cultural projects, all resolutions should also be submitted to the offices where they hoped to seek assistance.

All infrastructure projects should also cost at least P500,000 before the Capitol will come in.

Read more: Gwen’s portaits, Christmas goodies, insurance distributed during barangay chiefs’ assembly

Garcia said this is to delineate that big projects will be funded by the province while the barangay takes care of the smaller projects that the latter can afford given its income and Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Garcia’s new guidelines also limit barangays to ask for socio-cultural assistance only once a year for every office. A separate resolution should also be submitted to all the offices where the barangay is asking for sociocultural aid.

Meanwhile, Garcia also enumerated projects or purchase of items that will no longer be funded by the LAF.

These include tents, monobloc tables and chairs, electronic devices like laptops and closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) and internet subscription of the barangays, among others.

For the needs of barangays schools, Garcia added that village chiefs may directly submit resolutions requesting for projects to the board member from their district. However, school-related projects will not be funded by the LAF but by the Local School Board (LSB) which is chaired by Garcia.

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