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Angara: Gov’t can tap over P700 billion ‘unutilized’ fund for disaster response

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Around P700 billion of “unutilized” funds can be tapped under the 2019 national budget to address the needs of victims of natural disasters.

Senator Sonny Angara pointed this out on Friday adding that the unutilized 2019 funds “were a consideration when they (lawmakers) were discussing the 2020 budget.”

“As of November 30 (2019), there was still P700 billion of unutilized funds because of the late passage of the 2019 budget and of calamity fund almost P7 billion unutilized also,” he said in a text message.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that “billions lodged in various agencies were not used so that was a consideration in setting 2020 levels.”

“Incidentally, much of those funds are still available and if declared by the executive as savings, can be spent to help the victims of the eruption and other calamities,” Angara said.

The government is mapping out plans to help victims of Taal volcano eruption as their properties and means of livelihood were buried under tons of ashfall.

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