Iloilo requests return of unused NTF-ELCAC Funds

DG file

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The provincial government of Iloilo will request the reversion of funds initially allocated under the Local Government Support Fund-Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP).

The request follows a joint memorandum circular from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which clarified that funds received by local government units (LGUs) from the LGSF should be treated and recorded as trust funds.

This means that the reversion of such funds should not apply to LGUs, only to the Bureau of Internal Revenue as a national government agency.

In 2021, the provincial government received P720 million for the implementation of 165 projects under the LGSF-SBDP. Due to unspent allocations pursuant to the General Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2020, undisbursed funds totaling P196.9 million were returned to the Bureau of the Treasury.

To address the backlog, the provincial government allocated P56 million from its Supplemental Budget No. 1 for FY 2023 to complete some of the pending projects.

During a press conference, Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. reported that 91 projects have been completed, 69 remain uncompleted, and 5 have not been implemented. He explained that delays were due to various reasons, including procurement challenges, weather conditions, and contract issues.

“For example, in procurement, there are challenges. Sometimes it’s the weather or the plans of the contracts or other projects that do not have takers,” Defensor said.

Defensor added that the province will request DBM to revert the funds back to ensure the completion of the remaining projects.

“We will ask for it again because it can be returned to us so we can use the money to build provincial roads […] With the funds, we will complete the projects we were not able to finish last time,” he said.

The LGSF-SBDP is the flagship program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which aims to bring sustainable development programs to conflict-prone and conflict-affected communities.

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