House assures no depletion of funds for disaster relief
MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of the House of Representatives on Monday assured that funds allocated for disaster relief would not be depleted even after Taal Volcano’s eruption.
In a Facebook live, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano asked Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda regarding concerns of depleting funds for disaster relief as early as January, especially with the recent eruption of Taal Volcano.
Legarda, however, assured that there is enough budget for disaster relief.
“Hindi totoong mauubos dahil meron continuing funds from 2019 na pwedeng gamitin hanggang Disyembre ngayong taon,” Legarda said, noting that there are still National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRM) funds as well as Quick Response Funds (QRF) from 2019.
(It is not true that the budget would be depleted because we have continuing funds from 2019 that we can use until December this year.)
“Sa 2020, recently signed, ‘wag matakot na sa first quarter mauubos, dahil malaki ‘yung pondo,” she added.
(The 2020 budget was also recently signed. Do not be afraid that funds would be depleted by the first quarter because the budget is huge.)
Batangas lawmakers earlier filed a bill seeking a P30-billion supplemental budget to support victims of the eruption.
“The bill seeks to appropriate thirty billion pesos to fund the much-needed support to families and communities affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano to include immediate relief to affected individuals and families,” the lawmakers said in the bill’s explanatory note.
Further, the fund would also help “establish resettlement centers, homesites, and townsites for displaced families; provide livelihood and employment opportunities for local residents; construct, repair, rehabilitate, or reconstruct public infrastructure needs in the affected communities; and to adopt and implement other interventions that could expedite the return to normalcy in affected localities.”
“‘Yung Php 30-billion, kailangan naka-earmark ‘yan, hindi lump sum ‘yan, at kailangan din ng mga tao cash assistance, hindi lang equipment o baka, pero siyempre, pantustos sa pang-araw-araw,” Legarda said.
(This P30-billion should be earmarked, not lump sum. People need cash assistance, not just equipment, but also cash for everyday spending.)
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has lowered the alert level over Taal Volcano from 4 to 3.
Phivolcs on Monday morning said the number of earthquakes monitored at Taal Volcano, as well as the sulfur dioxide emission also continued its decline.
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