The city was able to sustain the provision of financial assistance to calamity-stricken local governments last year despite the prevalence of the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 219 pandemic that placed most parts of the country under various levels of community quarantine for nearly a year now to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Under ordinance No. 07, series of 2020, the local government granted financial assistance or relief fund in the mount of P1.6 million from the 3 percent City Disaster Risk Reduction and management Quick Response fund that was equally distributed to the 8 municipalities of Batangas that were heavily affected by the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano.
The municipalities that benefited from the aforesaid assistance were Agoncillo, Bauan, Lemery, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Taal, Dalisay and Tanauan.
Under Ordinance No. 148, series of 2020, the city also granted financial assistance in the mount of P2.8 million from the city Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Quick Rspnse Fund of the local government in the provinces of the Cagayan valley and Bicol Region which were badly hit by Typhoon Rolly and Ulysses late last year.
The beneficiaries of the grant were Cagayan – P300,000; Tuguegarao City – P200,000; Isabela – P500,000; Albay – P300,000; Camarines Sur – P300,000; Camarines Norte – P300,000; Catanduanes – P300,000; Masbate – P300,000 and Sorsogon – P300,000.
It has been the practice of the local government over the past several decades in countless occasions of extending financial assistance to cities, municipalities and provinces which have been struck by natural or man-made calamities.
Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 1121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 210, local governments are mandated to allocate at least 5 percent of their annual budgets purposely to compose their local disaster risk reduction and management fund where 30 percent of the same will be devoted as quick response fund while the 70 percent will be used for the remaining thematic areas of disaster risk reduction and management.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that local governments that can afford to extend appropriate assistance to other local governments that have been heavily affected by natural and man-made calamities should continue to do so because it is better for the sae to help than to cope with the serious negative effects of calamities that strike anytime which might catch such localities off guard in such situations.
He said that the city was lucky last year that it was not heavily devastated by natural cities that is why it was able to spare some funds that had been given to the other identified local governments that had been he ravaged by the Taal Volcano eruption and the wrath of Typhoons Rolly and Uysses that struck most parts of the country late last year.
The local chief executive called on residents to continue to be on guard for an eventuality that may transpire for them to be able to contribute in effective and efficient disaster risk reduction and management in their respective barangays to minimize the impact off such clarities to life and limb as the primary objective of the same is for zero casualty during the onslaught of calamities.
By Dexter A. See