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DBM: Available calamity fund stands at P18.3B as PH braces for Mawar

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday said the government has available funds in its coffers for disaster relief operations for the entirety of the year as the country prepares for Super Typhoon Mawar.

In a statement, the DBM said the government still has about P18.3 billion in calamity fund, which includes the P1.5-billion carry over from last year’s budget, “that can be used for various disaster relief operations until the end of 2023.”

Year-to-date, the calamity fund releases amounted to about P3.9 billion, according to the Budget Department.

“Our government is prepared. We are ready to support all operations for disaster rescue and relief with the necessary budget. Identified frontline government agencies may mobilize their Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated in their respective budgets,” said Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.

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

The DBM said that after the typhoon, if necessary, agencies may tap into the available National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) under the Fiscal Year 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA) upon completion of damage assessment and recommendation by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and following the approval of the President.

Data from the DBM as of March 31, 2023 shows the NDRRMF still has an available balance of P19.3 billion.

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.

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

It is forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) between Friday evening (May 26) and Saturday morning (May 27), and will be named "Betty."

According to state weather bureau PAGASA, 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. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News

Tags: news, Mawar, Betty, weather, DBM