On the President’s Comment that Government Funds are Depleted

I would suggest that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) be convened immediately so the members of the Cabinet can mobilize the different agencies using their Quick Response Funds (QRF) and other relevant appropriations available under their disposal, among others.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) should be required to submit an initial Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in areas devastated by Odette. This will guide the President to prioritize aid and assistance based on the needs and extent of damage.

For its part, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should organize a meeting with the different ambassadors to appeal to the international community of nations for assistance just like what we did days after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, there is also a need to organize the mobilization of the country’s business and private sector to extend assistance in order to maximize and prioritize relief and rehabilitation efforts in the hardest hit areas. As it is happening now, efforts are disorganized and the interventions of politicians and presumptive candidates are not helping much.

All these will help us to prepare for the possible spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. As I have repeatedly stressed, the judicious spending of funds based on accurate data is the key.