Due to the urgency of the situation, Senator Bam Aquino said that part of the country’s calamity fund for 2013 could be used to cover part of his proposed P15 billion rehabilitation fund, so that recovery of provinces devastated by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake can start immediately.
“Dahil sa pangangailangan, ngayon pa lang ay puwede nanghugutin ang bahagi ng rehabilitation mula sa kasalukuyang calamity fund upang hindi na mag-antay pa ng susunod na taon para sa rehab fund,” Sen. Aquino explained.
The senator said the remainder of the P15-B rehabilitation fund could be included and sourced from next year’s budget.
Aquino is batting for the inclusion of a P15-billion fund in the 2014 national budget, which will be used to rehabilitate Bohol, Cebu, and other nearby provinces from the devastation brought by Tuesday’s strong tremor.
“Ang nasabing pondo ay ilalaan sa rehabilitasyon ng maraming imprastruktura na nasira sa Bohol at Cebu, kabilang ang 18 tulay, mgapampublikong ospital, malalaking kalsada; farm-to-market roads; at iba pang imprastruktuka na nasira ng lindol,” Aquino emphasized.
In addition, Aquino said that part of the funds will be used to repair and rehabilitate public schools destroyed by the earthquake.
The funds will also be utilized to repair centuries-old churches in Cebu and Bohol, including three national heritage sites in Loboc,Dauis, and Baclayon
“Maliban pa rito, ilalaan din ang ilang bahagi ng pondopara suportahan ang mga livelihood at mga negosyo na naapektuhan ng pagyanigupang muli silang makatayo sa sariling paa,” the senator added.
This way, Aquino said, the provinces affected by the earthquake can more quickly get up on their feet through the help of a revitalized economy.
If approved, this is not the first time that a special fund will be included in the national budget for the rehabilitation of provinces destroyed by natural calamities.
In 2007, then-senator Joker Arroyo moved for the inclusion of a P10 billion fund in the national budget under the Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Effort (Care) to victims of typhoons “Milenyo,”“Reming”, and “Seniang” that hit the country in late 2006.
Photo by Robert Michael Poole via Twitter (sourced from GMA Network)