P3B released for disaster programs

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday it has released a total of P2.909 billion for disaster and calamity response as of end-April.

Of the total amount, P2.470 billion went to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management program and another P439.837 million for the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (MRRRP).

The department, meanwhile, said it is processing additional P2.779-billion in fund releases based on recent approvals from the Office of the President covering disaster-related programs and projects in response to calamities that occurred from 2018 to 2021.

This also includes allotments for the MRRRP and the Comprehensive Aid to Repair Earthquake Damage.

The remaining P19.445 billion in appropriations will be utilized based on the specific purposes and allotments to be released by the Budget department to appropriate departments and agencies upon obtaining the President’s green light.

The DBM assured the public that sufficient funds are made available to departments and government agencies pertaining to coronavirus disease 2019 response.

Besides their regular appropriations under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the continuing 2020 GAA, the agency said the P189.442-billion in allotments under Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II) may still be utilized until June 30.

Bayanihan II is the Republic Act 11494, which covered assistance to disadvantaged or displaced workers during the coronavirus pandemic; grants to cities, municipalities and provinces; and purchase of coronavirus detection kits, among others. The law expired on June 25 last year.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law extending the availability of the 2020 national budget until December 31, 2021 to allow the continuation of appropriations of funds for the items included in last year’s spending plan.

With that, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) has a total available appropriation of P25.135-billion as of January this year.

The NDRRMF will be tapped whenever there are additional funding requirements to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, which may not be covered by all available funding sources.
“This is also on top of the P60.605-billion additional allotments released to the Department of Health for foreign-assisted projects, particularly on the procurement of vaccines and other essential equipment and supplies,” the DBM said in a statement.


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