Pangilinan backs calls to reallocate anti-red funds to typhoon victims
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday supported calls for the proposed P19-billion anti-insurgency fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for 2021 to be “rechanneled” to assist those who were affected by typhoons Quinta and Rolly.
“Marami-raming food packs, tahanan, daanan, tulay, classroom ang maaabot ng 19-bilyong-pisong halaga ng anti-insurgency budget para sa mga nasalanta sa Bicol, Southern Luzon at iba pang mga probinsya,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
(The P19 billion anti-insurgency budget can be used to buy a substantial amount of food packs and to fund reconstruction of homes, roads, bridges, and classrooms of those affected in Bicol, Southern Luzon and other provinces.)
“Gamitin natin ang pondong ito para masagip ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino na walang-wala na ngayon,” he added.
(Let’s use the budget to help our fellow Filipinos who are left with nothing now.)
Pangilinan is among opposition senators who called for the reallocation of the funds along with Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
Hontiveros earlier noted that the NTF-ELCAC budget was much bigger than key agencies like the Department of Finance (P17.46 billion); Office of the Ombudsman (P3.36 billion); Department of Budget and Management (P1.9 billion); and the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development (P632 million).
Pangilinan also said that the anti-insurgency fund may be used to augment the calamity and quick response funds of local governments whose budgets have been depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, Pangilinan said the Department of Budget and Management should immediately replenish the depleted Quick Reaction Funds of Bicol and Southern Tagalog so they could respond to the needs of families and communities severely affected by Typhoon Rolly. — Miggy Dumlao, trainee