MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Thursday convened the NEDA board meeting, which was previously postponed due to the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda.”
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said that aside from tackling major infrastructure projects, the board will also tackle rehabilitation programs for areas affected by the storm.
"The President is currently leading the Cabinet in a meeting of the NEDA Board that, aside from tackling proposals for major infrastructure projects, has been convened to concretize priority action programs for the severely-damaged portions of Eastern Visayas,” Coloma said.
The Palace is pushing for a supplemental budget that will provide additional funds for the rehabilitation as government expects to “incur huge expenditures” due to the series of calamities that have hit the country.
Earlier, NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan estimated the cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads and bridges in the typhoon-devastated areas may reach P250 billion.
Fine-tuning 2014 budget
Meanwhile, Coloma said the Palace will be working with Congress to “fine-tune” the 2014 proposed budget to factor in “specific funding requirements.”
“The government expects to incur huge expenditures that will have a substantial impact on the national budget, especially considering that, even prior to super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, the country underwent a series of calamities such as typhoon ‘Pablo’, Zamboanga standoff, typhoon ‘Santi’ in Central Luzon, and the Bohol earthquake, and this is now the subject of review by the Cabinet,” Coloma said.
“Hence, we welcome proposals from congressional leaders to approve a supplemental budget that will provide additional funding for coping with the immediate needs, based on the availability of funds that will be certified by the National Treasurer.”