The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said declaring a state of national calamity will allow national government agencies and local government units (LGUS) to tap the remaining calamity funds and quick reaction funds to aid victims of recent floodings. Such funds must be spent conscientiously to help calamity victims, especially farmers, fisherfolks, and other marginalized sectors.
At least 575,728 families or 1,812,740 persons were affected by the severe tropical storm that brought heavy rains, flash floods, and landslides across the country. NDRRMC reported that 98 people died, 69 were injured, and 63 remain missing. Based on the Department of Agriculture’s monitoring, some P246.3 million worth of rice crops were damaged, affecting 13,240 hectares or 11,563 MT in volume.
In a statement, the peasant group said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) must lay bare the available calamity funds.
Out of the P20.7 billion calamity fund or national disaster risk reduction management fund (NDRRMF) for 2022, the Duterte administration turned over only P14.7 billion to the Marcos Jr. administration, plus a remaining balance of P357.3 million from the 2021 calamity fund. “Magkano pa ang natitirang ang calamity fund ng gobyerno? Kailangan magamit ito ng tama para sa agarang tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo,” Ramos asked.
The calamity fund may be utilized for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, aid, relief, and other works or services, including pre-disaster activities, in connection with the occurrence of natural calamities occurring in the current year. As of August, Marcos Jr. already tapped P1 billion from the said P14.7 billion remaining calamity fund and released it to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
National government agencies can also utilize the Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated in their respective budgets. QRF is a standby fund to aid people in communities or areas stricken by calamities, epidemics, crises, and catastrophes.
According to the DBM, as of July, the status of the calamity fund or NDRRMF for 2022 is as follows:
DA – P1 billion
DENR – P36 million
DOF – P84 million
DOH – P293 million
DILG – P3 million
DND – P1.054 billion
DPWH – P2.12 billion
DSWD – P662.5 million
DTI – P66 million
DOTr – P17.9 million
PCOO – P2.1 million
KMP said aside from the available calamity funds, the national government can tap the P7 billion contingent or reserve funds for 2022 for relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Where are our Executives?
The farmers group also continued the question the whereabouts and activities of both the President and Vice-President. Marcos Jr appeared in an emergency Zoom meeting last Saturday while Sara Duterte only issued a written statement expressing her sympathy to calamity victims. “Both Marcos Jr and Duterte are doing a great disservice to Filipinos with their evident lack of compassion and accountability,” KMP leader Danilo Ramos said.
KMP said both the President and Vice President deserve public criticism for their slacking behavior in the face of severe tropical storm PaengPH disastrous aftermath. ###
Image by Carlo Manalansan from Bulatlat.com