DOF orders local treasurers to monitor Bayanihan grants to LGUs
The Department of Finance (DOF) has directed local treasurers to report the expenditures under the “Bayanihan” grants that were released to local government units (LGUs) to help them address the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak in their respective communities.
Funds equivalent to one-month of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) share for 2020 of cities and municipalities and one-half of the 2020 IRA for provinces were released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) last month to LGUs.
These one-time fund releases, which should be exclusively used for programs and activities to respond to the Covid-19 emergency, are known as the Bayanihan grants as such subsidies were given on the strength of Republic Act (RA) No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
In a memorandum issued last April 27 by the DOF’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), all provincial, city and municipal treasurers were ordered to “ensure the proper recording and reporting” of these funds “to effectively monitor the Bayanihan Grants to LGUs”.
The DBM released last April 7 a total of PHP30.82 billion to cover the allocations of cities and municipalities under the Bayanihan grants.
Another PHP6.2 billion, released in three tranches of PHP4.7 billion, PHP1.35 billion and PHP141 million, was released last April 13 to cover the Bayanihan grants of provinces.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 009-2020, the BLGF said the Bayanihan grants to LGUs shall be inputted as “other subsidy” in the Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (SRE) Report of the Local Government Unit Integrated Financial Tools (LIFT) system.
The LIFT is an IT-based reporting system for local treasurers, assessors, budget officers, and accountants required under DBM-DOF-DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2018-1 to synchronize financial reports of LGUs with the national government oversight agencies.
Provincial, city and municipal treasurers and assistant treasurers mandatorily and electronically report to the BLGF their receipts and expenditures through the SRE under the LIFT System every quarter.
“All BLGF Regional Directors are directed to immediately and widely disseminate this Circular to all concerned, and provide online technical assistance to the LGUs for the purpose,” read the Circular signed by BLGF Executive Director Niño Raymond Alvina.
DBM Local Budget Circulars Nos. 125 and 126 specified that the Bayanihan grants “shall be exclusively used for the Covid-19 response-related purposes and subject to existing procurement, budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations.”— Source: PNA / (PR)