Gov’t must spearhead assistance with same ‘intensity’ – Recto

July 28, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 100 views

GOVERNMENT assistance should match the “intensity” of the earthquake.

But it appears that the available National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) fund, otherwise known as the “Calamity Fund”, may be insufficient for rehabilitation work, said Batangas 6th District Representative Ralph Recto.

Recto said, “Beginning year available appropriations are P20.7 billion – P20 billion in 2022 appropriations, and P700 million carried forward from 2021.”

“As of June 30, releases have reached almost P6 billion, and if the P1.9 billion in earmarked allocations will be added, the [disbursal] amount left is P12.8 billion, the amount inherited by President Marcos,” he continued.

“But we are just in the opening weeks of the calamity season. And instead of a typhoon, a powerful earthquake was the opening act,” Recto pointed out.

The Batangas house solon and the former senator said, “If the P12.8 billion will be used to fund the relief and repair work in earthquake-hit areas, it will leave the NDRRMF depleted, unable to respond to the typhoons that will surely hit us.”

“The President can augment this by tapping the P7 billion Contingent Fund for 2022. This is the national emergency fund under his disposal,” he stressed.

“And if this will not be enough, there is always the option of Congress passing an appropriations bill that will finance reconstruction,” said Recto.