Abad: Gov't at full throttle in assisting Sendong victims
MANILA, 21 Dec (DBM) -- To ensure swift and continuous assistance to Sendong-stricken areas, President Benigno S. Aquino III instructed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release an additional P1 billion to augment the 2011 Calamity Fund before year-end.
"The P1-billion augmentation will be funded by government savings and unreleased appropriations under the 2011 budget. By plugging more resources into the Calamity Fund, we can guarantee full support of ongoing relief and rehabilitation activities in Sendong-affected areas, including Cagayan de Oro and Iligan," Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.
Meanwhile, the remaining balance from this year's Calamity Fund will be used to immediately implement disaster-management and rehabilitation projects in Visayas and Northern Mindanao, including Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Negros Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, and Surigao del Sur.
"The Aquino administration is moving at full throttle to direct urgent assistance to affected areas. The DBM is now working with other government agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of the victims and to restore essential services to communities felled by Sendong," Abad said.
He confirmed that the DSWD will receive P521.2 million to spearhead Early Recovery Services for Sendong victims in Negros Oriental, Misamis Oriental, and Lanao del Norte. The fund will be used for the Modified Shelter Assistance Project, Cash for Work, and Livelihood Assistance initiative.
Abad also said that P208.6 million will be released to the DPWH for the immediate repair of damaged bridges and roads in Negros Oriental and Lanao del Norte, including Mandulog Bridges 1 and 2 in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and Tanjay Bridge in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will also receive P150 million for the production and installation of 1,000 automatic water level sensors in 18 river basins across the country. Priority will be given to the Cagayan de Oro River, the Iponan River, and Iligan City water systems.
In addition, P52.8 million will be channeled to the Local Water Utilities Administration for the quick rehabilitation of water systems in Cagayan de Oro. Of the total amount, P32.4 million will be used to repair source-and-production facilities, while P20.4 million will be used to restore service connections to concessionaires.