February 1, 2023

The Department of the Interior and Local Government is urging local government units to start planning and budgeting for local recovery and rehabilitation now even if the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over so that the economy can begin recovering from the disease.
DILG Usec. Jonathan E. Malaya said that the DILG, with technical support of the World Bank, has developed the “Ready to Recover (We Rise as One) Covid-19 Local Recovery Planning Guide” to help LGUs prepare and recover from the current health crisis.
“We need to recover now kahit ‘di pa tapos ang Covid-19 crisis kasi mas lalala ang epekto nito sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan. The DILG is collaborating with other national government agencies in the Interagency Task Force to help LGUs prepare their recovery strategies and programs. The goal is to build back better,” he said to local chief executives participating in a webinar.
Malaya said with a larger area of the country now classified as low-risk, most can now begin recovery efforts on the local level to protect jobs and stimulate economic activity. 
“With private consumption and investment still down, it is now up to the national and local governments to drive consumption and investment with government spending and policies that support the growth and recovery of local businesses,” said Malaya who is also chair of STG Governance of Task Group Recovery of NTF Covid-19.
“The Local Recovery and Planning Guide will simplify recovery and rehabilitation planning to give LGUs flexibility in interventions. It has sample frameworks, templates, and suggested programs, projects, and activities (PPAs). It will guide LGUs on the coordination of recovery efforts of national, regional, and local governments including the roles, responsibilities, and institutional structures,” he said.
Malaya said LGUs need not create a new local body to do the local recovery planning and budgeting. He said this can be done through the creation of an economic cluster within the existing Local Covid-19 Task Force headed by a mayor or governor.
Malaya said that the DILG has identified at least 10 indicative fund source options based on existing government guidelines that can be tapped by implementing agencies or LGUs to help address the challenges of fund availability. It includes national government programs and financing assistance programs of select Government Financial Institutions and government-owned and controlled corporations.
The financing sources for LGUs’ recovery from the Covid-19 crisis are the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, and Quick Response Fund of select national government implementing agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, and Department of Health.
Other possible sources are the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance to LGUs, LGSF-Assistance to Municipalities, Seal of Good Local Governance Incentive Fund, Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program, Regular Agency Budget, and the 20 percent Development Fund.
Malaya underscored the importance of LGUs’ efforts in informing their constituents of their initiatives to jumpstart local recovery.
He urged LGUs to manage people’s expectations by providing proactive messages to address or clarify recovery issues.
He advised the establishment of a feedback mechanism at the local level to allow affected communities to be heard and be responded to as well as to promote transparency and accountability throughout the recovery process. – DILG release