The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved an ordinance granting financial assistance amounting to P2.8 million from the local disaster risk reduction and management quick response funds of the local government to the provinces in Regions II and V which were badly hit by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Under Ordinance No. 148 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the provinces and cities that will be receiving the financial assistance will include Cagayan – P300,000, Tuguegarao City – P200,000, Isabela – P500,000, and P300,000 each for Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.
The council stated that the funds shall be disbursed pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government Code of the Philippines and accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
The council stipulated that it has been the practice of the local government like in countless occasion in the past of extending financial assistance to cities, municipalities and provinces which are being struck by natural or man-made calamities to help in their relief and recovery efforts.
The amount that will be used as financial assistance to the heavily devastated local governments will be charged from the local disaster risk reduction and management quick response fund of the city’s 2020 annual budget.
On November 2, 2020, Typhoon Rolly made its landfall in the country hitting Bato, Catanduanes but prior to its landfall, the government evacuated around 1 million residents in the Bicol Region saving countless lives, but the weather disturbance severely damaged more than 10,000 houses in Catanduanes alone.
Subsequently, Typhoon Ulysses lashed the main island of Luzon on November 11 and 12, 2020 whipping destructive winds and dumping torrential rainfall over wide areas which triggered floodings in various places, especially in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela and Metro Manila.
Earlier, Magalong, in his letter dated November 16, 2020, requested authority for the grant of financial assistance to the provinces of Region II and V that were badly battered by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses and declared to be under state of calamity by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the amount of P2.8 million to the aforesaid local governments.
Pertinent provisions of the Local government mandates all local governments to allocate at least 5 percent of their annual budgets purposely for disaster risk reduction and management.
Of the funds that will be allocated for disaster risk reduction and management, 70 percent will be earmarked for various preventive programs while 30 percent will be set aside for their quick response fund.
The council asserted that the local government is grateful that it has been spared from the onslaught of natural and man-made calamities over the past several years that is why whatever available funds that could be spared for possible assistance could be used for such purpose for those that had been affected by the previous weather disturbances. By Dexter A. See