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Gov’t has available P3.622B fund for Super Typhoon Rolly response, relief —Palace

The national government has available funds for response and relief efforts for those affected by Super Typhoon Rolly, Malacañang said Tuesday.

“Gaya ng sinabi ni [Budget] Secretary [Wendel] Avisado kahapon, meron tayong P3.622 billion available na pondo sa NRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during a televised Palace briefing.

During a high-level meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night, Avisado explained that the said amount, P3.622 billion, was the remainder of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF), which was already augmented by P5 billion under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

The Budget chief said the NDRRMF was originally at P16 billion, “at nagamit na po ‘yung iba diyan kaya nag-augment tayo.”

For local governments affected by the typhoon—but already used up all their calamity funds due to COVID-19—Roque said that while they can’t request augmentation directly from the DBM, LGUs can ask for additional funding from line agencies.

“‘Yung mga lokal na pamahalaan bagamat hindi pwede na directly ma-replenish ng national government ‘yung kanilang naubos na calamity funds, pupwede silang humingi ng augmentation sa mga national agencies na meron pong quick response funds kagaya ng OCD (Office of Civil Defense), DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), DOH (Department of Health), at DA (Department of Agriculture),” the Palace official said.

Apart from the said four agencies, LGUs can also ask for calamity fund replenishment from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, and National Electrification Administration.

Under the General Appropriations Act, several departments are given Quick Response Fund (QRF), namely:

  •     Department of Agriculture, P1.5 billion
  •     Department of Education, P2.1 billion
  •     Department of Health, P600 million
  •     Department of Public Works and Highways, P1 billion
  •     Department of Social Welfare and Development, P1.25 billion
  •     National Electrification Administration, P100 million.

The DBM replenishes its QRFs whenever these are depleted to ensure that those departments can adequately respond to disasters, according to Avisado.

The Budget chief said that so far, no department has asked for additional money but Avisado said the DBM expects requests following the recent calamities hitting the country.

The DBM also sees bigger requirements as a result of Typhoon Rolly and it plans to work with Congress on how to provide additional allocation especially as lawmakers deliberate on the 2021 national budget.

“Ang importante lang kasi dito, Wendel, na malaman ng tao na may pera para dito ngayon kunwari itong pangyayari ngayon --- that there is money coming for them to use. Hindi sila maghirap na talagang stretching to the limit ‘yung not only the money but the agony ang pag-ano nila,” Duterte said.

“So kung alam lang nila na may pera tapos nagastos ito nang tama at dumating ito sa mga beneficiaries, iyon lang naman ang kailangan nila. They know that there is money,” the President said.—AOL, GMA News