Gov’t to grant housing aid to typhoon victims

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The government will extend housing rehabilitation assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) to help them get back on their feet, according to President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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Aquino said the government is ready to offer a cash subsidy of P10,000 to P30,000, depending on the extent of the damage wreaked on houses in areas battered by the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

“[Budget] Secretary [Florencio] Abad has not warned me that there is a shortage of funds, so the assumption is that we have adequate funds, and that there are new funds going to be made available as soon as the 2015 National Budget is signed into law. So, I think, we don’t have any fears regarding funding for assistance for Ruby,” he said.

The President said the government can use some P7.3 billion remaining funds from the 2014 National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRM) fund and the Quick Response Fund.

In the General Appropriations Act for next year, the government had proposed a contingency fund of P2 billion, NDRRM fund of P13 billion, and Quick Response Fund of P6.4 billion.

Aquino also confirmed his plan to visit the areas struck by the typhoon upon his return to the Philippines to ensure that the displaced families are safe and their livelihood restored.

He expressed disappointment over the government’s failure to attain zero casualty but noted the “significant” improvement on the cooperation between the government and the public that enabled them to minimize the loss of lives during the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby.

“Compared to ‘Yolanda’, I think there is significance in the cooperation between the government, the citizenry, and the private sector. But, of course, as you all know, I am never satisfied. I will be asking: “What more can we do to prevent such?” he said.

PNA

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