Government can still tap P21.5 billion calamity fund

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government still has some P21.5 billion in calamity fund that can be used for various disaster relief operations until the end of the year, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Latest data showed the government barely tapped the national disaster risk reduction management fund (NDRRMF), most commonly known as the calamity fund, as it only released P6 million in April.

From January to April this year, calamity fund releases amounted to about P1.68 billion.

For April, the entire allocation was released to the Department of National Defense to support the conduct of its post-conflict needs assessment in Marawi City.

The remaining calamity fund stands at P21.52 billion, including the P2.8 billion carry over from last year’s budget.

Last year, a total of P18 billion in calamity funds were freed up to various government agencies for disaster response.

Calamity funds are being utilized to cover the construction and rehabilitation of various infrastructure affected by typhoons and other calamities.

These funds are also used to replenish government agencies’ quick response funds (QRFs).

Under the law, first response agencies are allocated QRFs in their annual budget. Once the QRF of any agency reaches 50 percent or lower, it can request replenishment from the DBM.

The QRF is used for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or repair of damaged roads, bridges, and buildings, among others after every calamity.

It is also being used to provide immediate relief to affected Filipinos in certain areas.

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