Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has renewed his appeal to the executive department to augment the already depleted calamity funds of the local government units, especially those still trying to recover from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Siony as new Tropical Storm Ulysses threatens to hit the country.
“Dapat pro-active tayo — laging handa. Malaki ang posibilidad na pareho ang dadaanan ng bagong bagyo. Tulungan po natin ‘yung mga apektadong mahihirap na LGUs na sapat na makaresponde sa krisis at maprotektahan ang mga komunidad nila,” Go urged.
“Kaya naman po inuulit ko ang aking apela sa gobyerno na i-replenish ang calamity funds ng mga LGUs na apektado ng sakuna. Kailangan nila ng dagdag na pondo pambili ng pagkain, gamot, at iba pang pangangailangan,” he added.
Just like Typhoon Rolly, Tropical Depression Ulysses is expected to make landfall somewhere in Bicol Region as it continues to intensify and may become a typhoon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
PAGASA predicts that Ulysses could move further northwest Monday night before moving towards the province of Camarines Sur.
Earlier, Go has urged the Department of Budget and Management to provide replenishment of calamity funds in typhoon-hit areas, particularly in Regions IV-A, IV-B and V, by augmenting their local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund equivalent to 1% of their respective Internal Revenue Allotments.
“Malaki po ang magagawa ng pondong ito upang mapunan ang mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga komunidad, lalo na’t naubos na ang kanilang naunang pondo dahil sa pandemya,” he said.
“Magpa-Pasko na. Tulungan po natin ang ating mga kababayan na maibsan kahit papaano ang pagdurusang dulot ng mga sunud-sunod na sakuna sa ating bansa, lalu na’t patuloy pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19,” he added.
Go also suggested that the executive department may explore the possibility for incremental provision of additional funds to severely affected LGUs depending on the extent of the needs of communities and on the availability of funds.
Aside from augmenting the calamity funds of typhoon-affected areas, Go is also suggesting the establishment of an integrated mechanism for the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Agriculture and other concerned agencies to improve delivery of aid during calamities and crisis situations.
“Iisang gobyerno lang tayo kung kaya’t dapat nagkakaisa ang galaw natin para mas maging mabilis, maayos at maaasahan ang serbisyo natin sa tao, lalo na sa panahon na nangangailangan sila,” he explained.
Go emphasized the need for a holistic response and whole-of-government approach to address the immediate needs of Filipinos in crisis situations. He argued that concerned agencies should work together as one in order to ensure the timely, efficient and responsive delivery of government assistance.
“Kaya nga po tinawag na ‘bayanihan’. Hindi lang tayo dapat nagbibigay ng tulong. Dapat sinisigurado rin natin na ginagawa ito sa paraan na walang nasasayang na effort, pondo o oras,” he said.
“Mas magiging akma o angkop rin ang mga tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno dahil alam na natin kung ano ang mga specific na pangangailangan ng mga apektadong tao o komunidad,” he added.
While his proposed measure creating the Department of Disaster Resilience is still being deliberated in the Senate, Go expects for the proposed integrated mechanism to streamline government humanitarian response to disasters.
Senate Bill No. 205, also known as the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019, seeks to create the Department of Disaster Resilience.
The proposed department, if created, shall unify and streamline all responsibilities related to disaster preparedness and response that are scattered across various departments and offices. It will focus on three key areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.#