‘P923M in idle funds only for death, injury benefits’ | Inquirer News

‘P923M in idle funds only for death, injury benefits’

/ 01:37 AM November 03, 2015

THE NATIONAL Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) will be revising its guidelines on the use of donated funds following the release of a Commission on Audit (COA) report stating that P923 million in calamity funds had remained idle in a bank for years.

An official of the NDRRMC said the funds in question—the quick relief funds—could only be used for financial assistance to deceased or injured disaster victims.

NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said the P923 million in unutilized funds could not be applied to other uses, hence, the low utilization rate of the donations.


“The usage of these funds is covered by a set of guidelines, which only allows for their usage for financial assistance for the deceased and the injured. We cannot use it for other purposes,” she said.


The NDRRMC has created a draft of the recommendations for the revised guidelines which are being discussed by the agency’s technical working group.

Marasigan said the NDRRMC was carefully reviewing the guidelines to plug loopholes.

“The funds are intact, these were not spent randomly without consideration for the guidelines,” she said.

The guidelines, issued in 2005, allocate P10,000 for burial assistance for deceased disaster victims and P5,000 for injured victims.

The NDRRMC issued the statement in reaction to a COA report which said the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) had a very low utilization rate of quick relief funds and donations for disaster victims.

The unused funds had ballooned to P923 million as of December 2014.


NDRRMC executive director and OCD administrator Alexander Pama said several corrective measures had been undertaken since December last year.

He said the COA’s recommendation was to come up with new policies on the usage of the funds, which they have done pending approval by the NDRRMC.

“We are now coming up with a more comprehensive NDRRMC policy on the utilization of donated funds,” Pama said.

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The proposed revisions include utilization of funds aside from the injured and the deceased, such as for augmentation of relief assistance.

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