December 29, 2016
Legarda: Enough Funds for Typhoon Nina Rehab
Senator Loren Legarda today urged all agencies involved in the relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by Typhoon Nina to ensure that needs are met completely and quickly even as she commended the level of disaster preparedness of national agencies and local government units (LGUs).
"The level of disaster preparedness has evidently improved, from forecasting, to early warning and consistent advisories, to prepositioning of goods, to forced evacuation of families in high-risk areas. All concerned agencies were prepared and were on standby even during Christmas. The quick response following the typhoon's devastation was very important as well. It is unfortunate that there are still casualties, but they are fewer considering the magnitude of devastation caused by the typhoon, and there could have been more if we were not prepared enough," said Legarda.
"These disaster preparedness measures and quick response will allow the government to swiftly shift from response and relief to recovery and rehabilitation," she added.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance, said that unearmarked funds under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) Fund for 2016 still run up to P4.963 billion, which can be used to immediately start recovery and rehabilitation in affected areas.
For 2017, the NDRRM Fund amounts to P15.755 billion.
According to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), to date, the government is utilizing its Quick Response Fund (QRF) and those of line agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), among others, for expenses on food and non-food items as well as immediate repair and reconstruction of vital infrastructure.
"The government still has funds for 2016 which will still be carried over to 2017 and we also have a new NDRRM Fund appropriation for 2017. We urge the concerned agencies to utilize these resources immediately and efficiently. We do not want the affected population to suffer more when the government has the resources to alleviate their suffering now," the Senator said.
"With the way things went before the typhoon and the way things are going now at the response and relief stage, we are optimistic that the government will also act swiftly to ensure the quick recovery of communities affected by Typhoon Nina," Legarda concluded.
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