Tuesday, October 13, 2009

House Approves P12-Billion Calamity Relief Fund

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives has approved House Joint Resolution Number 48 authorizing the use of the unprogrammed fund under the 2009 Budget in an amount not exceeding P12-billion for the relief operations, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other works and services to areas affected by natural calamities.

"Certainly, the House of the People responded quickly to the situation. As I have said, there is no minority or majority when national interest is at stake," Speaker Prospero Nograles said.

Nograles noted the competence, hard work and diligence of Appropriations Chairman Junie Cua, Senior Vice Chairman Edcel Lagman, among others, for steering the joint resolution that needed only about five minutes from presentation to approval by plenary.

"We will now send the measure to the Senate for its appropriate action," Cua said, noting the joint resolution was approved without any opposition.

The resolution is also vital to those victims of typhoon which hit the country earlier and the areas, especially in the Visayas.

The existing Calamity Fund is not adequate to finance the needed relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction and urgent works and services following the devastations left along the typhoons’ trail, particularly in Metro Manila, most parts of Luzon and the Visayas.

"Utilization of the fund shall be in accordance with the procedure and distribution system of the National Disaster Coordinating Council created pursuant to President Decree No. 1566," the joint resolution said. (Gil Bugaoisan)

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