Marcos admin inherits P14.7 billion calamity fund
Manila, Philippines — In the aftermath of disasters, the Marcos administration can dip into the remaining P14.7 billion in calamity fund for relief and response activities for the rest of this year.
The latest Department of Budget and Management (DBM) data on Friday (July 8) showed that from January to June, the previous Duterte administration released P5.9 billion out of the P20.7 billion total national disaster risk reduction management fund (NDRRMF) or more popularly known as calamity fund set aside for 2022.
On top of the P20 billion NDRRMF allocated in the record P5.02 trillion 2022 national budget, the P4.5 trillion 2021 appropriations whose validity had been extended by former president Rodrigo Duterte up to this year’s end still had P699.6 billion in calamity funds.
Last year’s continuing NDRRMF included P364 million in the national disaster risk reduction and management program (NDRRMP), of which only P6.7 million were released in the first half of this year, hence an available balance of P357.3 million.
Subject to the DBM’s approval, the yearly NDRRMP serves as an additional funding source to implementing agencies’ quick response fund (QRF) when their balances breached 50 percent. The DBM defines the QRF as a “standby-fund to be used in order that the situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by calamities, epidemics, crises, and catastrophes may be normalized as quickly as possible.”
The P335.7 million Marawi recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction program (MRRRP) which spilled over from the 2021 budget, meanwhile, had so far released P335.6 million, with only P95.681 unreleased.
In previous years, millions of pesos in funds, which should have been spent to rehabilitate areas flattened by the 2017 siege of Marawi City, expired.
Since the previous administration already released a total of P342.2 million from last year’s continuing calamity funds, the current administration still has P357.4 million to disburse, although P250 million worth were already earmarked and pending approval of the Office of the President (OP).
As for this year’s NDRRMF, the national government as of end-June released P5.2 billion out of the P19 billion NDRRMP.
Of the 2022 MRRRP worth P1 billion, P425.8 million were already released during the first six months.
As such, a combined P5.7 billion out of the P20 billion 2022 NDRRMF had been released, with a remaining balance of P14.3 billion.
As of last month, P1.7 billion in this year’s calamity funds had also been earmarked, including P1.6 billion worth already approved by the OP for special allotment release order (Saro) issuance by the DBM.
The balance of P100 million in earmarked calamity funds under the 2022 budget remained pending OP approval.
When needed, the DBM releases the NDRRMF following the endorsement of the inter-agency National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and then the President’s final go-ahead.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.