Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Friday posed these two critical questions to those wanting to lead at least 110 million Filipinos in 2022.
Lacson also stressed the seriousness of the problems facing the country, with the situation at Taal Volcano adding to the list.
“On the one hand, you have to make sure you are in the conversation and be in a position to win in the first place. But more importantly, you have to get a firm grasp of the problems besetting the country because what if you win, and you’re unprepared to face the problems? These are two equally important questions you have to ask yourself,” Lacson said in an interview on DZRH radio.
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.