Drilon: 2021 calamity fund ‘totally inadequate’
MANILA, Philippines — The P16-billion calamity fund in the 2021 national budget is “totally inadequate” considering that recent typhoons brought about billions worth of damage in the country, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Monday.
He noted that the three typhoons — Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses — that wreaked havoc in the country brought about P34 billion in damages in infrastructure and agriculture.
“From these three typhoons alone, you’re talking about P34 billion in damages, and next year you’ll only have P16 billion in the calamity fund,” Drilon said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
“So again, the P16 billion that is in the budget for calamity funds, is totally totally inadequate,” he added.
He noted that the P16 billion is under the budget of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The agency, he said, uses the budget for “immediate relief” to victims of calamities such as typhoons.
“We have the calamity fund which is tapped immediately, if and when, or even simultaneously with the quick response funds of the other department,” the senator said.
Drilon likewise thumbed down the proposal to create a Department of Disaster Resilience as this will add another layer of bureaucracy.
“What we need is additional disaster funds, not additional bureaucracy,” he said.
For its part, the House of Representatives will be seeking a P5-billion increase under the proposed 2021 budget’s calamity fund for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by recent typhoons.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco earlier said the House will be proposing the increase during the bicameral conference. With a report from Zacarian Sarao, trainee
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