Malacanang exec says gov’t still have funds for relief, rehab efforts

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Dec. 16 (PNA) — A Palace official on Wednesday said the government continues to have budgetary provisions to address needs of calamity victims.

In a briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government has Php 4 billion remainder in its calamity fund this year while about Php 6 billion savings can be used for relief and rehabilitation.

He said the savings mostly came from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) after the agency adopted reforms in the implementation of its projects.

He said what the government is using now are quick response funds of the various agencies that are part of the relief efforts.

“The Department of Budget and Management augments the quick response funds for us to be able to immediately help those in need,” he said

Relatively, Coloma said President Benigno Aquino III continues to monitor updates on Typhoon Nona and its impact on the people and areas it affected.

He said the President met with officials from several agencies Wednesday afternoon for this purpose.

“What was discussed is to implement the President’s directives to give immediate relief to the victims of Typhoon Nona,” he said citing that providing shelter to the victims is the top priority.

Coloma said validation on who among the victims need immediate assistance is on-going.

Initially, the victims will be given emergency shelter like tents but will eventually be given GI sheets and construction materials to rebuild their houses, he added. (PNA)