The camp of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Monday slammed former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd for his failure to fully implement disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) projects despite the availability of funds.
Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, cited a Commission on Audit (COA) report in 2013 that only 34.5 percent or P33 million of the P76 million allotted for DRRM activities was utilized.
The report came out only this year.
He said the disaster preparedness of local government units would have been boosted had the DILG fully implemented the programs.
“What is sad is the fact that COA identified ‘lack of coordination and monitoring of project activities among the implementing offices’ as the reason the DRMM projects were not implemented,” Quicho said.
He added that the P10 million donated for victims of typhoon Pablo were not used at all in 2013.
He said Roxas was already the Interior secretary in 2012.
“Secretary Roxas saw our country end up as the worst hit country in the world in 2012 as reported by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). Yet Secretary Roxas’s agency — the DILG– failed to prepare local government units for disasters despite the billions of pesos at his disposal. If he failed in that, is he really prepared to lead the country?” Quicho said.
The COA said the DILG’s failure to release P65.5 percent of the P76 million DRRM fund allotment “resulted in a low level preparedness of LGUs for disaster preparedness.”
Quicho noted that the Philippines had the most number of casualties from natural disasters in 2012 with 2,369 people killed as reported by CRED, a non-government organization based in the Philippines. China came in second with 771 deaths.
“Secretary Roxas and DILG should have taken the data seriously and prioritized disaster-preparedness projects. Funds were allotted in 2013 for disaster preparedness in 2013 but more than 50 per cent of the funds were not used,” Quicho said in a statement.
“Given the deaths and damages due to disasters in 2012, the DILG would have helped a lot if they had implemented projects under the Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Seal of Disaster Preparedness project. As it is, Yolanda hit the country in 2013 and LGUs were not prepared for it or for other disasters in 2013 when the funds have been allotted,” Quicho added.
“Is this how he plans to govern the country? React when the need arises instead of preparing for any problems, instead of having the foresight to lessen any adverse effects on the Filipino people regardless of what calamity will hit us — whether natural or man-made? The worse calamities that have hit us so far are called Manhid and Palpak. We hope disasters Manhid and Palpak will vanish once the term of this present administration has ended,” he added.
“Secretary Roxas and DILG officials know the Philippines is prone to natural disasters. They should take disaster preparedness seriously or why else did Congress approve such a huge budget?”