Via Sun.Star.com.ph: P145-billion rehabilitation fund for calamity-stricken areas set for 2014. Excerpt:
The government will spend P145 billion [US$3.26 billion] for the rehabilitation of areas affected by calamities in 2013, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Sunday.
The fund will be sourced from the P2.265-trillion national budget for next year, which was enacted by President Benigno Aquino III last Friday.
Included in the 2014 budget are authorizations worth P100 billion intended for the completion of various relief and rehabilitation programs on regions struck by natural and man-made disasters in recent months, especially those affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Visayas.
Drilon said the P100 billion is composed of P20-billion rehabilitation fund and another P80 billion under the unprogrammed fund, which would serve as standby allocation.
Congress has set aside P13 billion in calamity fund and P4.8 billion in quick response fund.
Lawmakers also passed the P14.6-billion supplemental budget coming from the unspent Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for 2013 and extended the validity of the remaining P12-billion calamity fund by another fiscal year.
“In crafting the budget, the Congress took into consideration the need for urgent aid to our countrymen burdened by the damages of disasters. The sizeable amount of funding is absolutely necessary to equip the government in fulfilling its responsibilities to those left helpless by the calamities,” Drilon said.
The Senate leader also assured that Congress will ensure that every single peso in the budget goes toward the benefit of the public.