DBM: Gov't has P5 billion in quick response funds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2014 06:15 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2014 02:15 AM

MANILA – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Monday said it has enough emergency funds to spend during times of natural disasters.

DBM said government agencies have quick response funds (QRFs) amounting to P5.34 billion ready to use specifically for this situation.

The breakdown of the QRFs per department is as follows:

Department of Agriculture P406M
Department of Education P564M
Department of Health P500M
Department of National Defense P448M
Office of Civil Defense (DND) P765M
Department of Social Welfare and Development P1.01B
Department of Transportation and Communications P1B
Department of Public Works and Highway P650M
TOTAL P5.34B

QRFs are released at the start of the year to allow government agencies to make immediate use of funds for emergency response functions.

The Department of Public Works and Highways received replenishment of funds worth P650 million for its QRF on Friday due Typhoon Ruby, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

The Aquino administration also recently augmented the 2014 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) with P2.61 billion for the government’s relief and emergency response activities.

“Preparation is critical in ensuring the safety of Filipinos in the face of natural disasters. The current year's budget can fully support emergency operations as they're needed, especially in the wake of Ruby. To date, the National and local governments have been working together to ensure that pre- and post-disaster activities are executed well,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

Additional funds will be made available for relief and rehabilitation efforts once the proposed 2015 National Expenditure Program is approved in Congress and signed by the President.

“The Administration isn't acting alone here. Aid organizations, citizen groups, and ordinary Filipinos are all pitching in so we can weather this latest calamity,” said Abad.

The storm left at least 21 people dead in Eastern Samar where it first made landfall. []

It is expected to exit the Philippines by Thursday.