Senate resolution seeks to realign PDAF for disaster management use-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
SENATE President Franklin Drilon on Monday filed a resolution seeking to realign the remaining priority development assistance (PDAF) for this year to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
In his Resolution 302, Drilon said that with the many difficult challenges and numerous natural and man-made disasters, including devastating typhoons, the siege and unrest in Zamboanga and most recently, the magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Visayas region particularly Bohol and Cebu, the remaining balance of pork barrel in the Senate can be used by President Benigno Aquino III to augment the NDRRM fund.
The Senate President said that it was the decision of the majority of the senators to assist the victims of these calamities and to help in the speedy recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the provinces affected by the disasters.
The budget allocation for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund in the 2013 General Appropriations Act is P7.5 billion. Only P1.37 billion is left in the of the NDRRM fund, according to the Office of the President.
President Aquino admitted Monday that combined calamity and contingency funds were no longer sufficient for the rehabilitation of earthquake-stricken Bohol and Cebu provinces.
Aquino told reporters that based on initial estimate, the government needs P7 billion for the rehabilitation of those areas.
"There's a pending request, I understand submitted today to me for P7 billion for everybody," he said, noting that the P7 billion would include the P500-million fund for the repair of bridges, which were damaged by the magnitude-7.2 earthquake on October 15.
"The bottomline is, there's a request of P7 billion...current calamity (fund) has P176 remaining balance, contingency has P824 million, so that's roughly about a billion, so not enough," he said.
But the President said that the remaining amount could be sourced from the P20 billion savings of the government.
"So there are savings and the calamity fund is an item on the budget, then you can use the saving to...replenish the calamity and contingency fund," he explained. (Camille P. Balagtas/SDR/Sunnex)