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There is still P6.8 billion in the calamity fund: DBM

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Thursday that government organizations involved in disaster response may use the PHP6.8 billion catastrophe money that is still available for this year.

This comes after the DBM provided an update on the condition of the nation’s national disaster risk reduction and management fund (NDRRMF), stating that PHP6,863,219,462 will still be available in the fund at the end of 2022.

“The frequency, size, and severity of any calamity are never predictable. However, the DBM always feels that it is best to be ready, according to a statement from the DBM.

According to the relevant provisions of the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA), concerned agencies may use the remaining PHP6,863,219,462 in the NDRRMF for the remainder of 2022 in the wake of natural disasters and other calamities.

The declaration was made the day after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng caused the areas of Calabarzon, Bicol, and Western Visayas, as well as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), to be declared in a state of calamity for six months.

According to Proclamation 84, a state of calamity has been declared in the four regions to allow the public and private sectors to expedite rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation efforts.

The proclamation also aims to provide ample time for the federal government and local government units (LGUs) to provide funding for efforts to rescue, recover, provide assistance, and provide for rehabilitation.

The remaining PHP6.8 billion, according to the DBM, is a component of the overall PHP20 billion budget set aside for disaster risk reduction and management this year.

It stated, “Please take notice that under the 2022 GAA, PHP19 billion was allocated for planned appropriations in the NDRRMF, while PHP1 billion has been set aside for the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Program (MRRP)”.

enhancing government response initiatives

The 2023 NDRRMF will significantly grow, as mentioned in the DBM, to help the government respond to disasters.

The agency stressed that the PHP30 billion planned catastrophe fund for 2023 was greater than the PHP20 billion allocated for 2022.

The DBM further stated that under the 2023 National Expenditure Program, in addition to the PHP30 billion, a projected PHP1 billion budgetary allocation for the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Fund was also included (NEP).

The agency stated, “This is an increase of PHP11 billion from the present 2022 GAA NDRRMF Budget of PHP20 billion.

The statement said, “The increase is in compliance with the President’s mandate to change the economy into one that is proactive rather than reactive and to boost the country’s readiness and response efforts in times of calamities.

Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, stated on Wednesday that the Senate is now analyzing and making changes to the suggested calamity fund for 2023.

Angara noted that the Senate finance panel is open to measures that will enhance the administration’s reaction to disasters, citing the most recent earthquakes and typhoons.

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