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Release calamity fund ASAP, President orders DBM

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fast-track the release of additional funds that will augment the calamity budget of typhoon-hit provinces.

Senators are aiming to increase the government’s calamity fund for 2021 as they sift through the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget.

Speaking at a high-level briefing in Camarines Sur, one of the provinces ravaged by typhoons “Quinta” and “Rolly,” the President said “time is of the essence” during calamities.

“The problem is, historically, the government moves slowly. If you can do it, cut the time — half or more than,” the President said.

“That’s the complaint of the people, especially these times. The time is of the essence. Get hold of these things that are needed by them.”

DBM Assistant Secretary Kim Robert de Leon, who also serves as chief of staff of Secretary Wendel Avisado, said they have disbursed an additional P10 billion to the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

The DBM proposed a P1.5-billion augmentation fund to local government units (LGU) affected by “Rolly” and “Quinta.” It will cover CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Bicol Regions.

The DBM is also considering additional funds for Region 2 as well, particularly Isabela and Cagayan, which were devastated by typhoon “Ulysses.”

The additional funds are equivalent to one percent of their Internal Revenue Allotment, or the LGU share of revenues from the national government.

“We are taking off from the proposal and suggestion of Senator Bong Go, who recommended the provision of assistance to local government units to augment their local calamity fund after being affected by the recent typhoons. It will be chargeable to the NDRRMC fund, considering that calamity funds are already depleted due to COVID-19 response and back-to-back calamities and typhoons,” De Leon said.

Senators are aiming to increase the government’s calamity fund for 2021 as they sift through the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget.

In separate statements, Senators Franklin Drilon and Risa Hontiveros pushed for the reduction of the P19-billion proposed budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for 2021, saying it should be transferred to augment the calamity fund.

Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph



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