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Magkano ba? Ping moves to study supplemental budget for Taal

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson pushed Tuesday for a thorough study of the P30-billion supplemental budget pushed by Malacanang to help areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Lacson said the first step is to find out how much is readily available in calamity funds of the national government and the local government units.

“We will have to find out how much is readily available in calamity funds of the national government (NDRRMF, or National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund) and the LGUs affected (LDRRMF, or Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund),” he said.

“There is no saying that I am not supporting the expeditious passage of the budget measure. I’m only saying we have to find out if P30 billion is a bit more or even not sufficient to help the LGUs affected by the Taal Volcano eruption,” he added.

Lacson noted the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121) mandates LGUs to allocate at least 5% of their regular sources of income, including their IRA, for their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

Under the same law, he said the unspent LDRRMF will go to a special fund “to be used in situations like the Taal eruption.”

RA 10121 states that “unexpended LDRRMF shall accrue to a special trust fund solely for the purpose of supporting disaster risk reduction and management activities of the LDRRMCs within the next five years.”

“The same provision of RA 10121 applies to all the municipalities and barangays affected or not by calamities,” Lacson added.

Lacson pointed out Batangas’ provincial government had allocated P183 million in its 2019 annual budget alone for their PDRRMF although it appears 70% has been allocated for overhead expenses like MOOE, and only P55 million was for calamity.

The same is true for the different municipalities and barangays within the province, he said.

“I can imagine they may still have sufficient funds. That, and to be augmented by the national government, should all be taken into account when we deliberate on the P30-billion supplemental budget being pushed by the President,” he said.

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