Manila, Philippines – Senate approved yesterday, November 4, the House Bill No. 3423 which authorized the creation of a 14.6 billion supplemental budget to be used in the rehabilitation of the areas badly affected by Yolanda as well as those areas hit by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Cebu and Zaboanga Crisis.
The said amount will be sourced out from the unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) after the Supreme Court declared its unconstitutionality.
The fund will be divided among the government agencies responsible for the rehabilitation. 11.2 billion of which will be used for calamity rehabilitation particularly in the Yolanda-hit areas; 3.4 billion will be given to the Department of Social Welfare and Development as a quick response fund.
Moreover, a total 2.75 billion pesos is allotted for the Department of Education (DepED) and 1.25 billion pesos for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) which will be used for the repair and rehabilitation of school and academic building while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall receive a total of P3 billion for the repair of government infrastructures that include bridges and roads.
The Department of Health (DOH) shall be allotted with 1.5 billion pesos to be used in purchasing equipment and building repairs. The same amount will also be given to National Housing Authority (NHA) for the housing and relocation projects; 1 billion will be given to the Department of Transportation and Communications to be used in repairing damage airports and ports; and 1 billion for the local government units (LGUs) to fund repairs of health centers and rehabilitation programs as well.
The remaining 1.5 billion pesos shall be used for the restoration of the historical sites damaged by the magnitude 7.2 quake in Visayas.
With the 14.6 billion-peso budget added, the Philippine Government has now a total of 143 billion-peso fund, all shall be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in the areas severely affected by calamities. (Ma. Meta D. Aboga/ LNU ABcom Intern)