Velasco: P5-billion increase in calamity fund to be pushed into 2021 budget

Lord Allan Velasco

The House is set to advance in the deliberations of the bicameral conference committee the additional P5-billion calamity fund to recover the areas devastated by the previous typhoons.

“Given the tremendous damage caused by these successive strong typhoons, it is imperative that we augment the calamity fund in next year’s spending plan. We have to help our people rebuild their lives and their communities, ”said House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco in a statement.

Prior to the series of typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses, the House of Representatives approved their version of the P4.5-trillion national budget.

Under this, the proposed allocation will be P20-billion as a calamity fund for next year. It is divided into P5-billion of Marawi City rehabilitation, and P6.25-billion quick response funds of some agencies.

These include the Department of Education, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Health, and the Office of Civil Defense.

“That’s a total of P11.25 billion that is specifically appropriated, leaving a balance of P8.75 billion President Duterte could use to help victims of calamities and other disasters. That balance is not even enough to rebuild Bicol, which was hardly hit by Typhoon Rolly. ”

“Alternatively, we can allocate the additional money in the budgets of the agencies involved in reconstruction and helping typhoon victims.”

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