Gov't sets aside P2B monthly for 'Yolanda' food packs

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Nov 21 2013 11:31 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2013 07:31 AM

MANILA – The government is setting aside an estimated P2 billion per month for relief packages being sent to survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas, Finance Sec. Cesar Purisima said on Thursday.

Purisima, who was tasked to handle logistics and preparation of relief packs, said the monthly budget will be used for food items only.

“May budget kami sa isang buwan sa food lang, estimate lang ito don’t hold me to it, mga P2 billion,” he told dzMM.

Purisima said a standard relief pack, which contains 6 kilos of rice, 8 pieces of canned goods, 8 noodle packs, and 8 packs of instant coffee, costs about P380 each.

The relief pack per family is good for two days.

Purisima said the government has enough funds to purchase the goods. He said the President has instructed him to produce about 150,000 packs a day.

“Hindi naman importante ang cost dahil nga ang kagandahan dito sa pagpapatakbo ni Pangulong Aquino ng gobyerno, marami tayong revenue at nasa-save, so mayroon tayong kakayahan. Maganda ding nangyayari ay tinutulungan tayo ng ibang bansa kaya nakikipag-coordinate tayo sa kanila,” he said.

He said that so far, the government has been able to produce about a million relief packs prepared at the Villamor Air Base, Manila port, and two packing centers near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

A shipment of 300,000 relief packs arrived in Tacloban via roll on, roll off (RORO) vessel on Thursday, and another 80,000 packs are expected to arrive on Saturday, Purisima said.