By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Nov 11 (PNA) — Senate President Franklin Drilon said that he wanted to create a special fund amounting to at least P10 billion in the proposed 2014 national budget for disaster-struck areas’ rehabilitation.
Drilon delivered this message before the 300 delegates of the Philippine Dental Association and House of delegates’ midyear session on Monday.
“I would propose that the P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014 be reconstituted and recast in order for the government to have a rehabilitation fund,” he said.
He further explained that this was so that the government can tap to respond quickly to the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and address the need of the people greatly affected by the past calamities.
Although the President’s Social Fund can handle the relief operations, Drilon said that what is critical is the massive rehabilitation of infrastructure which was destroyed by the recent calamities.
“I would urge the Dept. of Budget and Management to submit a new budget proposal which we can consider in the Senate and in the bicameral conference committee,” he said.
“This is necessary because the proposed 2014 budget clearly did not take into account the need for massive and immediate rehabilitation of infrastructure,” he added.
Drilon said that the DBM is in the best position to review its proposed items of expenses in 2014 budget and recast the budget.
When the General Appropriations Act of 2014 is passed, he said it will already reflect the fund needed for the rehabilitations of all these areas.
He also had high hopes that his colleagues would also realize the need to revise the budget. (PNA)