City Council allots P6.5-M PAGCOR share to COVID-19 war

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The Iloilo City Council approved the allocation of P6.5 million from the city’s share from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) to the war on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The money will be used to purchase medical and laboratory equipment and supplies.

The money is on top of the P77 million already approved by the City Council in its special session on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Councilor Jose Efrain Treñas III said the PAGCOR money is additional funding requested by the City Government for efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Treñas said they are looking for additional funding sources.

“Indi man guro pwede nga ma-depend lang kita sa isa ka source sang funding, so the executive wrote to the [City Council] to ask for its approval,” Treñas said.



The P6.5-million PAGCOR is separate from the P21-million COVID-19 response fund approved by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

The P21-million fund is part of the P98 million initially proposed by CDRRMC.

Councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda told the media on Friday that the P21 million will be tackled during their regular session Tuesday.

Treñas clarified why the P21-million funding was not tackled in the session.

“As of now, ini siyang P21 million [apart from] the P77 million, we set aside, daw kumbaga buffer which will be used to procure food for the daily wage earners nga indi maka-gwa sa kanila nga balay if the need comes. Wala man kita hope that this will extend, but of course, preparing lang. Mayor [Jerry] Treñas wants to prepare funds so the people will not go hungry because of this quarantine. We need to make sure that everything is set, budlay na da nga may masakit kag magutman and if we ever run out and if this will extend, wala na kita sang buffer,” he said.

Treñas also clarified the status of the cash-for-work program, which is part of the P21-M funding.

“The main purpose [of the P21 million] is that we do not want to spend all of it at once. I’m not sure kun ano ang plan sang Mayor, ang aton nga cash-for-work sa pagka-intindi nakon basi i-forego naton because of the community quarantine. The mayor is dedicated to food assistance, so if there would be cash-for-work, basi limited na lang ang mataga-an,” Treñas said.



Meanwhile, the City Council also approved the extension of the deadline for payment of Real Property Taxes for the 1st quarter, from March 31, 2020, to April 30, 2020.

City Treasurer Jinny Hermano said the wide extension of the deadline shall encourage people from outside Iloilo City to stay in their homes instead of travelling under the enhanced community quarantine.