Imee Marcos: Remove restrictions on calamity fund use in emergencies
Remove the restrictions on the use of calamity funds by local government units (LGUs) in times of calamities and emergencies, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos urged the government on Wednesday.
She said this will allow LGUs to release funds to affected farmers quickly.
“We owe it to our farmers to ensure they have living income. It cannot be that the people who feed this nation are left to fend for themselves in emergencies. LGUs can accomplish this if their hands are not tied in releasing calamity funds,” she said in a statement.
Marcos earlier complained about the P15,000 limit being imposed by the Commission on Audit (COA) on requests for cash advances to buy food after Typhoon “Ompong” hit the country in September.
She also called on the government to ensure that “farmers in disaster-stricken areas” secure a living income in times of emergency.
“The Constitutionally-vested right to a living wage should translate into LIFE for our farmers – the right to Living Income for Farmers in Emergency situations,” Marcos said.
She pointed out that farmers are “always at a disadvantage” when calamities and other emergencies happen.
“They have no income because their crops were destroyed. Agarang tulong ang kailangan nila (timely aid is what they need),” she said.
She stressed that “farmers must be given work to earn income to feed their families,” in addition to free seeds, fertilizer, farm implements, and credit assistance “to help them get back on their feet.”
“They can earn living wages repairing dikes, water catchments, farm roads, and other damaged public infrastructure,” Marcos said.
She also noted that these jobs can give “farmers basic resources to survive and restore their farms to productivity.” /ee