FORMER Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today, November 13, urged the national
government to immediately augment the calamity funds of local
government units (LGUs) in the areas affected by Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses.
“National government should immediately act to augment the calamity
funds of LGUs. Almost depleted na sila dahil sa ayuda na ibinigay noong lockdown at dahil sa mga bagyo (The funds are almost depleted because of the aid they extended during the lockdown and the typhoons),” he said.
“Their resources and manpower have been stretched to the limits,” he added.
Binay, a former city mayor, noted that while the Department of the Budget
and Management (DBM) said it will release Php1.9 billion to the affected
areas, the amount will be disbursed to national government agencies.
Likewise, he said the remaining balance of Php1.7 billion from the remaining Php3.6 billion National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) may not be enough considering the extent of damage
caused by the typhoons throughout Luzon.
LGUs need immediate assistance
“Dapat bigyan agad ng ayuda ang mga nagbibigay ng ayuda. Pagod na
sila, pero tuloy pa rin ang kanilang serbisyo (The national government
should give immediate aid to those who provide aid. They are tired but
they continue to serve),” he emphasized.
The former Vice President said it would be difficult for these LGUs, whose resources are already stretched to almost breaking point, to endure the expected arrival of more typhoons. Their problems are
aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the high risk on infection in evacuation centers and in communities, he noted.
Binay added that the national government should work to facilitate the release of these badly-needed funds directly to the LGUs, and avoid the bureaucratic bottlenecks that delayed the release of funds to government agencies dealing with the pandemic.
“The unconscionable delays in the release of the Bayanihan 2 funds should not be repeated in dispensing funding assistance to these already-distressed LGUs,” he said.
Earlier, it was learned that the DBM has so far released only Php3.545
billion of the Php140-billion emergency pandemic response under Bayanihan 2.
Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses had ravaged a large portion of
Luzon. The devastation covered Bicol, CALABARZON, cutting across Metro
Manila and Central Luzon, up to Cagayan and Isabela. The two typhoons
caused extensive damage to infrastructure and property, and affected millions of residents who were displaced by widespread flooding and
Featured image of former Vice President Jejomar C. Binay credit, Wikipedia.