On the Proposed P30-Billion Supplemental Budget for Taal-Affected Areas

January 21, 2020 - 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). As per the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 or RA 10121, LGUs are mandated to allocate at least 5% of their regular sources of income, including their IRA, for their LDRRMF. If unexpended since there are no calamities, the cumulative LDRRMF are kept in a special fund to be used in situations like the Taal eruption.

The same provision of RA 10121 applies to all the municipalities and barangays affected or not by calamities.

Batangas province in this instant case had allocated P183 million in their 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.

Counting five years backwards from January 2020 when Taal erupted, as RA 10121 mandates 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, 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.

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.

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