Dr. Paciente Cordero

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), speaking on behalf of the government, has assured the Filipino people that P21.5 billion is available as stand-by calamity fund. The fund can be used for various disaster relief operations for the current year (2023).

The DBM announced that only P1.68 billion has been released from the calamity fund better known as the national disaster and reduction and management fund (NDRRMF) from January to April 2023. Following the post -conflict needs assessment in Marawi City showed that for April 2023, the entire allocation was released to the Department of National Defense (DND) – thus P21.5 billion plus the P2.8 billion carry over from the 2022 budget, stand as the remaining calamity fund available for the current year.

It must be recalled that in 2022, a total of P18 billion in calamity fund were dispensed through other government agencies for disaster response purposes.

NDRRMF (calamity fund) funds are mostly used to cover the construction and rehabilitation of various infrastructure affected by natural disasters like typhoons and other man-made and/or other natural calamities. Also, the same funds are also used to replenish government agencies’ quick response funds (QRFs) as stated in the Law covering the NDRRMF operations. In some instances, the same funds are being used to provide relief to affected Filipinos, including distressed OFWs.

Personally, I would support moves to increase the amount of appropriation for the NDRRMF or calamity funds, considering the regularity and volume of natural, mostly destructive calamities visiting the country such as typhoons.

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