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P476-M supplemental budget for COVID-19 response okayed

Lawmakers approved Supplemental Budget No. 1 amounting to P476,025,806.74 to be utilized as the COVID-19 emergency response fund.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, chairperson of the committee on finance, ways and means, and appropriations, passed the ordinance under suspended rues on Wednesday, April 29, during the 15th regular session at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The said fund consists of the General Fund Proper and Development Fund in the total amount of P476,025,806.74, which was sourced from the Bayanihan Grant and the remittance from Aboitiz Power Corporation.

The city recently received the budget from the Bayanihan Grant of the national government in the amount of P462,047,664.

Meanwhile, AboitizPower has also remitted a total of P13,978,142.74 as its share in the Energy Regulations 1-94 program to support the city government’s drive to combat the disease.

According to Dayanghirang, Davao City is one of the host beneficiaries of the utility firm.

In a statement, AboitizPower said it remitted the amount through subsidiaries Hedcor Inc. and Therma South, Inc (TSI).

The SB1 shall be used for the city’s COVID-19 emergency response programs, such as expenses on welfare goods, medical equipment and supplies, other maintenance and operating expenses, and the establishment of a COVID-19 laboratory.

For the appropriations, a total of P6,306,000.74 will be allocated for the Bayanihan activities program to fund various activities in response to the pandemic. A total of P119,666,200 has been allocated for food supplies.

The allocated budget covers food packs from April 24 to May 31 that includes packed meals for frontline health workers and patients at the different COVID-19 facilities, personnel assigned at checkpoints, Southern Philippines Medical Center personnel, and carpenters. It also includes the City Social Welfare and Development Office personnel assigned to repack the goods from March 17 to May 31, and the porridge and lomi being distributed to different barangays from April 1 to May 31.

A total of P292,194,300 has been allocated for the purchase of 551,310 grocery packs delivered to all 182 barangays in the city. A total of P18,815,000 has also been allocated for the purchase of medical equipment for healthcare workers. With this, 10,000 pieces of medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) suits, 30,000 pieces of N95 masks, 1,200 boxes of gloves, and 5,000 pieces of goggles will be purchased.

For other maintenance and operating expenditures, the cremation expenses, which the city government committed to shoulder, has also been allocated with funds from SB1. This will cover 300 COVID-19 related cadavers, in which 150 cadavers will cost 50,000 each and the remaining 150 will be at 65,000 each.

A total of P20,250,000 will also be allocated for the payment of private laboratories for COVID-19 testing. This will also cover the expenses on rent, light, water, and Internet bills at the COVID-19 facilities in the city.

Dayanghirang also said that 20 pieces of powered air-purifying respirator will also be purchased with a budget of P1,100,000. Meanwhile, P10 million will be used to fund the COVID-19 testing laboratory in Barangay Los Amigos.

“This was already signed by the local finance committee and the city mayor,” Dayanghirang said, adding that the budget is now in the care of the City Treasurer’s Office.

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