P4.69B allotted for typhoon response
With a new, powerful typhoon threatening central Philippines, the government has allotted P4.69 billion to support the preparation for the response of government agencies.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the budgetary support will be drawn from the agencies’ quick response funds (QRFs).
The six agencies that have been provided QRFs in preparation for Typhoon “Hagupit” are the departments of agriculture (P406 million), education (P564 million), health (P500 million), national defense (P448 million, on top of an additional P764 million for the Office of Civil Defense), social welfare (P1.01 billion) and transportation and communications (P1 billion).
“The departments are equipped with QRFs, standby funds that they can readily access when emergencies or disasters occur. They can use these funds to mobilize the necessary resources and manpower to extend relief and immediate assistance to victims,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Because the QRFs are comprehensively released to the departments at the start of the year as part of the [General Appropriations Act] … the departments have the capability to perform emergency response functions without the need to fulfill required conditions and processes that may take time during a disaster,” the DBM added.
In case Hagupit enters the country, the national government can source funds from the 2014 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) for post-disaster response and rehabilitation.
“Given our country’s location along the typhoon belt in the Pacific, the national government knows it must prepare for any calamity. But we cannot predict the future. That’s why it’s essential that our national budgets have special purpose funds like the QRFs and the NDRRMF to address any contingency,” Abad said.
According to forecasts, Hagupit could make its way into the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday, upon which it will be given local name, “Ruby.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.