^

Headlines

Bigger calamity budget for 2021 sought

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
Bigger calamity budget for 2021 sought
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte urged the leadership of the House and the Senate to realign funds from less urgent programs in the bicameral conference committee meeting on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) “with an eye to augmenting calamity funds for the hardest hit areas of Super Typhoon Rolly, which is regarded as the strongest land-falling tropical depression ever to hit the Philippines.”
Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. FB Page

MANILA, Philippines — Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte yesterday called for an increase in calamity funds in the proposed P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021, following the devastation caused by recent typhoons in Southern Luzon.

He urged the leadership of the House and the Senate to realign funds from less urgent programs in the bicameral conference committee meeting on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) “with an eye to augmenting calamity funds for the hardest hit areas of Super Typhoon Rolly, which is regarded as the strongest land-falling tropical depression ever to hit the Philippines.”

“I am appealing to my fellow lawmakers to look into possibly realigning for calamity funds a portion of proposed GAB allocations for programs and projects other than those intended for COVID-19 response given the great damage wrought by super typhoon Rolly on infrastructure, agriculture and business in CamSur and other provinces in Bicol and Southern Luzon,” Villafuerte, whose province and other ares in Bicol were severely affected by Rolly, pointed out.

He said that local government units (LGUs) badly hit by the typhoon are most likely in need of calamity funds this early as their allocations for such purpose have probably been depleted because of pandemic-related initiatives in their respective localities.

Villafuerte cited his province as an example, saying it “needs all the aid and other resources it can get from both the government and the private sector as it is reeling from the triple whammy of Super Typhoons Rolly and Quinta, which struck the province in the previous weekend, and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He revealed that their Sangguniang Panlalawigan has passed Resolution No. 235 declaring a state of calamity so the provincial LGU could use available public funds for relief and other forms of assistance to typhoon-affected families.

Although Catanduanes and Albay have been reported as the worst hit provinces, Villafuerte said CamSur actually bore the brunt of the super typhoon as it battered the province last weekend for 13 hours straight, with winds reaching 225 kilometers per hour and gustiness up to 310 kph at its height.

Preliminary damage report released by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) secretariat bared that Rolly affected 251,000 families, 24,458 farmers and 34,350 fisherfolk in the province’s 1,036 barangays; destroyed P752 million worth of crops; damaged P1.9 billion worth of infrastructure like roads, bridges, dams, irrigation systems, school buildings and government facilities.

“The executive and legislative branches need to work together in getting the cyclone-battered provinces back on their feet at the soonest time possible, as the absence of such a recovery plan would be a drag on the national government’s efforts for the domestic economy to bounce back from the fallout of the coronavirus-induced global health and economic crises,” he pointed out.

Villafuerte also welcomed reports that the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara is already considering the proposal to increase the calamity funds for 2021.

“We are currently studying the possibility of supplementing the calamity funds for 2021. We are looking for fund sources for realignment at the moment,” Angara was quoted as saying in a report earlier this week.

Both chambers of the 18th Congress are due to reopen on Nov. 16, but the Senate has committed to start its session a week ahead on Nov. 9 so senators can start working on the House-transmitted GAB for 2021.

LRAY VILLAFUERTE

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

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!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with