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P18-billion calamity fund ready for ‘Mawar’—DBM

At a Glance

  • Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman says the government still has some P18.3 billion in calamity funds that can be used for various disaster relief operations.
  • Pangandaman says identified frontline government agencies may also mobilize their Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated in their respective budgets.
  • Further, after the typhoon, if necessary, agencies may tap into the available National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) under the 2023 national budget.

As super typhoon Mawar nears the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) assured that the government is ready to provide aid to people who may be affected by the wrath of the tropical cyclone.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said on Friday, May 26, that the government still has some P18.3 billion in calamity funds that can be used for various disaster relief operations until the end of 2023.

Pangandaman said the fund includes the P1.5 billion carryover from last year’s budget.

“Our government is prepared,” Pangandaman said. “We are ready to support all operations for disaster rescue and relief with the necessary budget.”

She added that identified frontline government agencies may also mobilize their Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated in their respective budgets.

The QRF is a built-in budgetary allocation that represent pre-disaster or standby fund for agencies to immediately assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises.

Further, after the typhoon, if necessary, agencies may tap into the available National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) under the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA), or national budget.

Pangandaman said releases from the NDRRMF will be done after the completion of damage assessment and recommendation by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and following the approval of the President.

The NDRRMF may be used for aid, relief, and rehabilitation services to communities/areas; as well as, repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction works in connection with the occurrence of natural or human-induced calamities in the current or two preceding years.

The NDRRMF also serves as additional funding source of the QRF agencies when the balance thereof has reached 50%, subject to the approval of the DBM.

From January 2023 to date, calamity fund releases amounted to about P3.9 billion.

“Mawar” has intensified into a super typhoon as it moves across the Pacific Ocean toward the country’s area of responsibility.

It is forecasted to enter the PAR between Friday evening, May 26, and Saturday morning, May 27, and will be named “Betty.”

According to state weather bureau, the current track scenario shows that the rain bands of the typhoon may bring heavy rains over Cagayan Valley between Sunday and Tuesday next week. — Chino S. Leyco

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Credit belongs to: www.mb.com.ph

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