TAGBILARAN CITY— The provincial government of Bohol has allocated more than P819 million for various programs aimed at benefiting some 700,000 Boholanos during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bohol Provincial head Rey Anthony Chiu, the allocation was under the “We Survive as One Bohol Program” to mitigate the social and economic impact of COVID-19 via relief assistance, economic stimulus packages, infrastructure and self-help initiatives.
Bohol Provincial Planning and Development Officer Atty. John Titus Vistal said the budget can fund the various programs that aim to empower, capacitate and perk up individuals and organizations to reopen and resuscitate the local economy.
Vistal said that the immediate beneficiaries of the fund will be students and pre-schoolers; undernourished children and pregnant women; quarantine and medical front-liners; COVID-displaced workers, those affected in the agriculture and fishery sectors that include farming families, livestock raisers, dairy farmers, agriculture cooperatives, people’s organizations and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Foremost among the interventions will be Bohol’s economic stimulus to pump-prime the MSMEs through a P200-million Surety Guarantee Fund for “Coopreneurs” and MSMEs. Conduit to this program include the Provincial Government’s Investment Promotion Center (PGIPC), Treasurers Office and Budget Office, LandBank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Vistal bared.
The mandatory stay home situation has ignited the entrepreneurial spirit of most Boholanos who went into online selling and barters, that encouraged the provincial government to come up with the Localized Online Market called Agriculture Retail and Trade (ART Bohol) through the ART app, Vistal said.
The ART app, according Vistal, is a virtual marketplace that provides opportunities for Boholanos to provide ease and options to supply products and the island’s more than 10,000 cooperatives and coop members. This has provided sideline jobs for drivers can pick up, deliveries and reselling business.