BY: MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The city government of Bacolod is preparing its coronavirus disease 2019 economic and recovery plan, City Administrator Em Ang said yesterday.
City officials, led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, recently held a consultative meeting to tackle the economic stimulus and recovery plan for the various sectors affected by the pandemic.
Ang said Councilor Dindo Ramos was tasked to head the Economic Stimulus Team, that is in charge of consolidating the recommendations from various sectors, and the economic packages from the national government.
The target of the city is to jumpstart the economy to help the most vulnerable sector, such as the small and micro business owners, and drivers, she said.
She said the city government is now looking for available funds, considering that there is a huge shortfall of revenues due to the closure of several business establishments.
The city has granted tax amnesty on delinquencies because of business closures for months, she added.
She said the city’s recovery plan is also being synchronized with the national government, adding that they will finalize it in their next meeting.
The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged local government units to initiate immediate interventions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to stir the local economy.
The business group said that LGUs should pass a tax amnesty ordinance, amend the curfew ordinance to increase the night business hours, provide micro-grants and market space to micro-businesses like rolling stores, night market, and weekend market.
LGUs should also initiate a food-for-work program, restart infrastructure projects, and take advantage of the liquidity support from government banks to build up labor-intensive industries and those that have export potential, the MBCCI added.*