Bacolod City – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has approved during its meeting yesterday the proposed ₱ 500 Million assistance for the victims of Typhoon Odette and other disasters in Negros Occidental.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz disclosed that the ₱ 500 million was contained in the supplemental Annual Investment Plan (AIP) of the province for 2022, which will come from various sources. This includes the ₱ 90 million assistance from the National Housing Authority, ₱ 41 million from the national treasury, ₱ 13.8 million trust fund of the PDRRMC which has not been utilized, as well as donations.
Diaz said the ₱ 500 million assistance is the maximum amount to be used in relief and assistance efforts of the provincial government.
But the immediate use of ₱ 131 million from NHA and National Treasury by the provincial government, was met with difficulties due to lack of clear guidelines from the Department of Interior and Local Government and many documents and requirements being asked from them, he added.
Diaz said that the DILG will come up a joint memorandum circular governing the release of P41 million assistance, which was already downloaded to the provincial government.
On the other hand, NHA, which gave ₱ 90 million for the province, requested the submission of more documents, such as the master list of destroyed and partially damaged houses to be certified by concerned LGUs and by barangay, which was not the case before, he added.
Those will take time, if we just rely on those funds, Diaz stressed.
While the national government still has to make up their minds on how to utilize it, what procedures and rules to follow, we cannot wait, he added.
This prompted Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, according to Diaz, to request the utilization of ₱ 13.8 million DRRM trust fund for distribution to typhoon victims whose houses were totally damaged by the typhoon.
Each recipient will receive six pieces of corrugated GI sheets, two flat sheets, as well as food and financial assistance, he added.
We hope to deliver this relief package at the soonest time possible to about 2,000 affected Negrenses,” Diaz further said.
This is on top of ₱ 50 million used by the provincial government in buying corrugated GI sheets, whose delivery from supplier is now being awaited, he also said, noting also that there is now a problem with its production and demand. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)