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.
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.
The Senate sought P20B in calamity funds in the 2020 budget, but the bicameral conference committee approved only P16B. Where did the P4B go? Sen. Lacson answers questions on the subject in a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV.
The World Economic Forum conducted in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 identified both natural and man-made disasters as among the top global risks that can cause significant negative impact for several countries and industries within the next 10 years. But long before this risk has been widely talked about in international fora, disasters have unfortunately become a frequent life experience in the Philippines, and our recent history attests to this untoward reality.
Just last Friday, Nov. 8, we commemorated the sixth anniversary when category-five Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) cut a swath of unprecedented destruction across 171 cities and municipalities in Central Philippines. In the same breath, we are one with our brothers and sisters in Mindanao as they continue to heal from the scars caused by the Zamboanga siege in 2013 and the Marawi crisis in 2017. In between, various parts of the country are being shaken, quite literally, by earthquakes and numerous aftershocks; most recent of which were the three strong quakes that hit the island of Mindanao in the past weeks, affecting 146,000 Filipinos, most of whom are still living in tents as we speak.
Sen. Lacson, whose resolution for a review of RA 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010) was one of the grounds of the hearing, stressed the need for a separate agency to focus on dealing with disasters.
“This is an opportune time (to review the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, because) the Philippines is third most risky in terms of disasters. It’s been eight years (since the law was passed). We have not reviewed (the law) as mandated under Republic Act 10121.”
“Even before I left the OPARR, ito ang naiwanan kong recommendation kay then President Aquino noon: It’s about time we created a separate agency even under the Office of the President para talagang may lead agency. Ngayon medyo sabog eh. Mahirap ang council-type na coordinative, tapos naka-integrate lang, puro monitoring ang mangyayari. There must be a separate lead agency who will take care and assume responsibility.”
With cyclones and other calamities likely to hit at this time of the year, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is seeking a review of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 to make it more responsive in dealing with the “new normal” effects of climate change.
In Senate Resolution No. 10, Lacson said it is time for the Congressional Oversight Committee on Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 to find ways to improve the law and its implementation.
“(T)here is a need to revisit the Act in order determine its effectivity and relevance when it comes to the country’s response to the challenges of the ‘new normal’ and the alarming rate of climate change, and to propose possible remedial measures,” said Lacson, who served as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery from December 2013 to February 2015.
Kailangan nang maitugma sa pagbabago ng panahon ang mga nilalaman ng Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
Ito ang pangunahin layunin ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagsasampa ng Senate Resolution No. 10 na naglalayong muling pag-aralan ang nabanggit na batas na una nang naging batayan ng gobyerno sa paglaban sa mga mapamuksang kalamidad na tumama sa bansa.
Batay sa resolusyon, ang muling pag-aaral sa nabanggit na batas ay pangungunahan ng Congressional Oversight Committee on the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 upang sabayang matalakay ng mga senador at kongresistang kasapi ng komite.