Former Vice President Jejomar Binay
“Bordering on criminal neglect.”
That was how former vice president Jejomar Binay described the government’s reported unspent P25B calamity funds even while the country is still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic
“The money should be disbursed soonest to aid jobless workers and hungry Filipinos. Ano pa ang hinihintay nila? Panibagong pandemya?” he tweeted.
Headline: “P25B in calamity funds unspent amid pandemic.” This is bordering on criminal neglect. The money should be disbursed soonest to aid jobless workers and hungry Filipinos. Ano pa ang hinihintay nila? Panibagong pandemya?
— Jejomar C. Binay (@JojoCBinay) May 3, 2021
Binay was reacting to a report from Inquirer.net showing that a total of P25.14 billion in calamity funds from the 2020 and 2021 national budgets remains unutilized based on the latest data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
As of March 31, P5.14 billion in the 2020 National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund (NDRRMF) or more popularly known as the calamity fund, remained unreleased.
The entire P20 billion NDRRMF of the 2021 national budget remains untouched as of end-March.
Also pending release in the 2020 budget was the P4.69 billion fund for the Davao and SOCCSKSARGEN regions, which were hit by strong quakes in 2019 and the P8.19 million for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Subject to the DBM’s approval, the annual NDRRMP can be a source of additional funding to the quick response fund (QRF) of implementing agencies when their balances reached 50 percent.
The Budget Department defined the QRF as a “standby-fund to be used in order that the situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by calamities, epidemics, crises and catastrophes may be normalized as quickly as possible.” – Rommel F. Lopez