The Department of Finance (DOF) has made it easier for local governments, tied up with COVID-19 quarantine enforcement, to borrow money.
The DOF’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) last March 23 issued Memorandum Circular No. 7-2020, which allowed the agency to electronically process and issue local government units’ (LGUs) certificate of net debt service ceiling and borrowing capacity.
Executive Director Niño Raymond B. Alvina said electronic transactions between the BLGF and local treasurers will “ensure that LGUs that will use credit financing as additional source of funds for the provision of goods and services, in response to COVID-19, will be assisted immediately by this bureau.”
“All concerned BLGF officials and employees shall endeavor to process LGU requests expeditiously within the shortest possible time, after following the prescribed procedures,” Alvina said.
“The committed service standard for end-to-end processing of every LGU application shall in no case exceed 15 working days due to the present work-from-home and remote-based operations of the bureau,” he said.
“It is reiterated that all precautions and directives of proper authorities on COVID-19 shall be strictly complied with to ensure the safety of all concerned,” Alvina said.
Also, the BLGF put up a list of LGUs that had extended local tax payment deadlines amid the lockdown.
To date, 11 LGUs extended temporary relief to their taxpayers, namely: Biñan City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Koronadal City, Las Piñas City, Makati City, Muntinlupa City, Parañaque City, Pasig City, Quezon City, and Valenzuela City.
For 2020, provincial, city and municipal treasurers had been tasked with collecting P307.1 billion in revenues—P126.2 billion in local business tax; P107.2 billion in real property tax; P43.9 billion in fees and charges; and P29.8 billion in receipts from operations of LGUs’ economic enterprises
Last Sunday (March 29), Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia urged LGUs, especially those outside Metro Manila, to “effectively implement better strategies to contain the spread of COVID-19 in their respective localities.”
Pernia said LGUs outside Metro Manila needed to work more closely with their regional health offices for local contact tracing and protocols, while ensuring “unhampered flow of basic goods and services” by “issuing special passes for delivery trucks of essential goods and designating special highway lanes, as needed.”
The Neda chief also asked LGUs to “prepare for the implementation of a social amelioration program aimed at mitigating the impact of work suspensions on the poor and vulnerable.”
Edited by TSB
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