Australia pledges aid for flood victims-A A +A
Saturday, August 11, 2012
MANILA -- Malacañang said on Saturday that Australia has expressed its intention to extend assistance to the victims of massive flooding in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that Australia's pledge was an addition to the commitment made by the United States and the European Union (EU) in aiding the displaced population.
“USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, has pledged P4.3 million for disaster relief. And from my understanding from (Foreign) Secretary (Albert) del Rosario, Australia also pledged its relief assistance,” she said.
Valte also assured that the government had enough funds for relief assistance aside from the help coming from private and foreign donors.
Citing the report of the budget department, she said the government had a calamity fund of around P5.95 billion.
“This is available to enable national government agencies to immediately respond to the needs of our citizens, and to localities that were affected by the monsoon rains,” Valte said.
Apart from the calamity fund, the government could also use its quick response funds that have already been released to different departments early this year.
Among the departments with this response fund include the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of National Defense, Department of Public Works and Highways and the Office of Civil Defense, Valte said.
If these quick response funds were summed up, it would amount to some P2.989 billion.
The US government and the European Union have committed to provide financial and humanitarian aid to the Philippines following the onslaught of massive floods brought by the southwest monsoon.
The EU delegation to the Philippines expressed its sympathy to more than 800,000 families affected by floods in Metro Manila and nearby areas. (SDR/Sunnex)