Sen. Marcos calls for immediate assistance to farmers, fishermen in areas devastated by “Lando”

21 October 2015

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today urged the government to provide immediate assistance to farmers and fishermen in areas devastated by typhoon “Lando”.

“The raging flood waters and strong winds of typhoon Lando caused severe damage to crops, fishponds, and livestock in several provinces. The people in these areas need help from the government as soon as possible so they can start rebuilding their lives,” Marcos said.

The senator said assistance for the agriculture sector should be among the government’s top priority to ensure not only adequate supply of food for the country but also to prevent sharp increases in the price of food materials.

The latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates typhoon Lando’s damage to about P5.9 billion.

“The government can tap billions of unspent calamity funds to help victims of typhoon “Lando” but the lengthy process and extensive documentation required for its release means it can’t be used to bring immediate relief for the typhoon victims,” Marcos said.

“But in the meantime the Department of Agriculture can use the P500 million Quick Response Fund in its budget for the purpose,” he added.

Under DA’s 2015 budget, the QRF should be used to provide seeds and other planting materials, fingerlings and fries, livestock, minor fishing paraphernalia, and similar items to enable victims of calamities to bring their lives back to normal as soon as possible.

In its website the Department of Budget and Management explained that “unlike the Calamity Fund, the QRF does not require the recommendation of the NDRRMC or the approval of OP (Office of the President) to trigger the use and release of funds.”

Likewise, the DBM said that when the QRF gets depleted, the agency may request for replenishment with a request to the DBM and to be approved by the Office of the President.