By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo provincial government is set to release a total of P43.5-million in financial aid to local governments of 42 towns and a component city to boost their capabilities to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said there was a need to capacitate the 43 local governments units (LGUs) that have almost drained their resources since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, which is designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Mayor Raul Banias of Concepcion town, who is medical doctor by profession, earlier expressed the need to extend help to LGUs of smaller towns, which do not have big annual budgets.
Each LGU is entitled to P1 million except the LGU of Guimbal town, which is set to receive P1.5 million after it already reported a positive COVID-19 case.
The financial assistance to be given by the Iloilo provincial government may only be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs), thermal scanners, medicines, and medical supplies.
It could also be used to purchase food packages for frontline workers such as health workers and local police conducting checkpoints; relief goods for those affected; fuel and other transportation expenses; and other preventive measures.