THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminded on Sunday, September 11, 2022, disaster-stricken local government units (LGUs) of their access to the P5.58-billion financial assistance to fund their recovery process.Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said in a statement that the funds can be accessed under Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance (LGSF-FA) on or before September 30.“Ito ay tulong pinansyal para sa ating mga LGU upang sila ay makaagapay at makabawi sa pinsala na idinulot ng mga kalamidad sa kanilang lugar (this is financial assistance for our LGUs so that they can adapt and recover from the damage caused by the calamities in their area). This is the government’s way to ensure that immediate assistance is extended to them,” he said.The LGSF-FA aims to augment the local government’s budget resources, ensure smooth implementation of projects and recover from the destruction the disasters caused.Abalos said LGUs must ensure that utmost priority is given to programs and projects that are related to disaster response, rehabilitation and recovery.He said new requests submitted beyond September 30 will be automatically returned to the requesting LGU without any action as the DILG will endorse all eligible and compliant requests to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) immediately after the deadline.To avail of the LGSF-FA, interested LGUs must prepare and submit the Special Budget Request (SBR) signed by the local chief executive to the DILG with supporting documents. If applicable, a certification proving that undisbursed balances from 2016 to 2020 LGSF-FA have been returned to the National Treasury must likewise be submitted.The DILG will base the amount per beneficiary LGU on the proportionate amount of damages incurred on infrastructure and agriculture as reflected in the Situational Reports of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center Report.Several areas in the country, particularly in northern Luzon, were hardly hit by the magnitude 7 earthquake in July, as well as Super Typhoon Florita in August.These calamities resulted in the damage of millions worth of infrastructure as well as in the agriculture sector. (SunStar Philippines)