MANILA— Government can realign a portion of its anti-insurgency fund to aid victims of Super Typhoon Rolly, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier said some P16 billion of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict's (NTF-ELCAC) P19-billion budget next year should be realigned to rehabilitation and relief in typhoon-hit provinces.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the proposal was "within the mandate" of the task force.
"I think that’s the objective of the ELCAC... to promote development in areas with ongoing insurgencies because we know that poverty is still the root cause of insurgency," he told CNN Philippines.
"So I don’t think there is any inconsistency with the proposal to actually spend funds in typhoon damaged areas because, I think, it is a fact that Bicol also is a hotbed for insurgency."
Rolly, the world's strongest storm so far this year, unroofed houses, knocked down electrical posts, and left at least 19 dead as it lashed Luzon on Sunday as a super typhoon.
It also forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes as the country continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.