Capitol spends P20M for tanks, hoses for farmers
The Cebu provincial government only has P3.9 million left in its Quick Response Fund (QRF) as of yesterday, which constitutes 30 percent of its total P121 million Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) fund for this year.
Cebu Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas said about P20 million out of the P36 million QRF was used to buy water tanks, barrels and garden hoses for farmers hit by the El Niño dry spell.
About 70 percent or P85 million out of the P121 million for DRRM fund were allocated for preparedness and mitigation.
Last May, the province declared a state of calamity in several towns due to the El Niño dry spell.
The province also bought relief goods for farmers as well as assistance to those affected by Typhoon Seniang last year.
The state weather bureau Pagasa earlier projected that the dry spell may intensify and could last until February next year.
In case the QRF runs out, Rodas said funds can always be realigned from the 70-percent preparedness budget.
In a worst case scenario, the officer said there will always be a source of funds for disaster.
Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said now is the time to maximize funds within local government units.
Tribunalo said the national disaster management council can augment the province’s funds.
He said each town and city should have their local contingency plan so they can define their response and allocate their resources wisely.
Tribunalo said the provincial government won’t give financial aid to towns and cities unless their needs are backed with data.
“We cannot help you if you have no data—how many people are affected, how many crops were damaged or can potentially be damaged. But if preparations are extensive, the damage is minimal. There should be climate-proof infrastructure and awareness. Everyone should collect water,” Tribunalo said.
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