He would have P11 billion more had the proposal of the House of Representatives to increase the fund by that much not been rejected by the Senate.
Duterte has P20-B fund for quakes, calamities
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has P20 billion in the 2019 national budget to help people and communities stricken by earthquakes and other calamities or disasters.

He would have P11 billion more had the proposal of the House of Representatives to increase the fund by that much not been rejected by the Senate. 

It is not clear why senators did not allow the increase. But it is apparent that they approved only the funding level Duterte sought. 

The President signed the budget bill on April 15. Months of wrangling between members of the House of Representatives and Senate over pork barrel insertions delayed the enactment of the budget.

In the budget he proposed to Congress in July 2018, the President recommended a P20-billion allocation for the national disaster risk reduction and management (NDRRM) fund, formerly calamity fund.

The fund amounted to P15.8 billion in 2017 and P19.6 billion in 2018.

Of the P20-billion funding level Duterte recommended and carried in the budget, P1 billion is allotted to the Department of Agriculture, P2 billion to the Department of Education, P500 million to the Department of Health, P500 million to the Office of Civil Defense of the Department of National Defense, P1 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways, P1.25 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and P200 million to the National Electrification Administration.

An additional P3.5 billion is allocated for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, which Mindanao leaders say is still a ghost town. 

The remainder of the NDRRM appropriation is under the disposal of the President. Agencies could use their allocations only upon his approval.

Aside from the NDRRM fund, the President could use relevant appropriations in the national budget, and in the Office of the President (OP) outlay in particular, to help calamity-hit communities.

He could also tap his social fund, which holds billions in contributions from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

The President expressed his gratitude to all who worked in the aftermath of the Luzon earthquake.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reported that as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, a total of 112 individuals are confined at different hospitals in the region.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) advised tourists visiting areas affected by the recent earthquakes in various parts of the country to exercise caution and review their travel plans.

“We ask those planning to visit the affected areas to exercise caution and review their travel plans, and allow our authorities to complete their urgent tasks in response to the recent calamity,” DOT spokesman Benito Bengzon Jr. said in a text message.

“At the moment our main priority is to coordinate with other government agencies that are still involved in the search and rescue operations in the affected areas,” he added.

Clark reopens

With earthquake-damaged ceilings now repaired, the Clark International Airport (CIA) resumed full operations yesterday but left it up to airlines how to deal with the backlog since Monday’s earthquake.

At a press briefing yesterday morning, Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president Jaime Melo said the resumption of full operations was slated at 4 p.m.

He advised affected passengers, who were given airline telephone numbers at airline desks in front of  the terminal during the flights suspension, to get in touch with their airlines for updated flight schedules.

Melo said that since last Monday after the quake, as many as 120 flights were cancelled, affecting an average of 12,000 passengers per day.

Structural engineers have inspected the ceilings which collapsed, mostly at the check-in area, to find out if the materials used were substandard to hold the contractor liable and demand payment for the repairs that could cost P30 million.

Melo said other parts of the airport, such as the runways, taxiways and tower, did not sustain any serious damage.

The passenger terminal was completed in 2013 by E.M. Cuerpo Inc. at the cost of P417 million.

Last December, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), awarded the operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for Clark airport to a consortium which includes Changi Airport Group. – With Christina Mendez, Catherine Talavera, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Rudy Santos, Ding Cervantes

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with