• Govt to release P25B for victims of super typhoon


    The Department of Budget and Management said that the government will “readily tap” additional fund sources to bring aid and help rehabilitate areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

    Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said that the department “can readily tap” existing fund sources such as the P6.4-billion Presidential Social Fund, the P16.6-billion government savings, the P1.3-billion calamity funds and another P824 million contingency funds.

    “[With this total P25.1-billion potential fund sources,] we wish to assure the public that we’re already moving funds to address the urgent need for disaster relief in all typhoon-stricken areas,” Abad said.

    “We deeply mourn the unprecedented destruction of life and property in the wake of the typhoon, but the Aquino administration is no less determined to bring quick relief to Yolanda’s victims and restore order and normalcy in all affected cities and communities,” he added.

    Abad said that budget for rehabilitation requirements would be “more costly” for next year as the last few month of 2013 were bombarded by natural calamities and should be addressed immediately, resulting into turning for more funds.

    He gave assurances that “fresh budgetary support” will be released for disaster areas in Central Visayas. The P25.1 billion will be used to restore power power and repair damaged water utilities, build shelter, and acquire food, water and medicines.

    “Already, disaster relief efforts are underway, with the government working hand-in-hand with aid groups, civil society, and volunteers around the country to provide swift aid to communities in need of post-disaster assistance,” Abad said.

    The donations given by various countries such as France, Canada and the United Kingdom will be used to help boost relief efforts in Central Visayas.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron pledged another P280 million of assistance, bringing the total amount provided by the British government to P1 billion.

    United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos announced on Tuesday that the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $25 million to support life-saving relief efforts.


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