DBM: P18.3 billion available as calamity fund for Super Typhoon Mawar
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has assured the public that enough funds are available to support government efforts to help areas likely affected by Super Typhoon Mawar.
According to the DBM, the government still has some P18.3 billion in calamity funds, including the P1.5 billion carried over from 2022’s budget, that can be used for various disaster relief operations until the end of 2023.
Mawar further intensified on Friday morning as it nears the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), with the state meteorological bureau predicting it to peak in 24 to 36 hours and enter PAR as “Betty” this weekend.
READ: Super Typhoon Mawar further intensifies; may reach peak force in 24-36 hrs – Pagasa
The super typhoon was last spotted 1,740 kilometers east of Southeastern Luzon, packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 265 kph.
“Our government is prepared. We are ready to support all operations for disaster rescue and relief with the necessary budget,” DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a statement Friday.
“Identified frontline government agencies may mobilize their Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated in their respective budgets,” she added.
The DBM also explained that the QRF is a built-in budgetary allocation representing pre-disaster or standby funds for agencies to assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises immediately.
Post-typhoon, relevant agencies can access the 2023 NDRRMF upon damage evaluation, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) recommendation, and presidential approval.
READ: Preparations stepped up as ‘Mawar’ nears PH, regains strength
The DBM said the NDRRMF could be used for assistance, relief, and rehabilitation efforts in affected communities and infrastructure repair after disasters. It also acts as a supplementary funding source for QRF agencies when their balance reaches 50%, with DBM approval.
According to the agency, calamity fund releases amounted to about P3.9 billion since January.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Mawar will continue to move westward and gradually accelerate into the PAR before it turns west-northwestward on Saturday, May 27.
It also said that tropical cyclone wind signals might be raised in the coming days as Mawar is seen to bring heavy rain in parts of Northern Luzon by Sunday, May 28.
Based on Pagasa’s advisory, the current track scenario for Mawar shows that the rain bands of the super typhoon may bring heavy rain over Cagayan Valley.
By Sunday or Monday, Mawar may strengthen the southwest monsoon, bringing rain to western Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Visayas.
READ: Super Typhoon Mawar may whip up monsoon rain in Luzon, Visayas next week
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