Congressman slams P-Noy for nixing disaster preparation in 2011 budget

Interaksyon.com reports that President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III "vetoed a provision in the 2011 budget that allocates money for disaster preparation under the P5-billion Calamity Fund."

Interaksyon.com reports that President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III "vetoed a provision in the 2011 budget that allocates money for disaster preparation under the P5-billion Calamity Fund."

 

According to the report Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino thinks that this move has weakened the capability of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to beef up preparations against typhoons and other calamities such as the recent typhoon Pedring and Quiel.

 

"The President made a tactical blunder when he disallowed use of funds for pre-disaster activities, building of relocation sites, and training of personnel. The veto is man-made disaster that should be reversed by the President himself," Palatino said.

 

In his veto message on the 2011 national budget, Aquino said that the P5-billion Calamity Fund should be mainly used by the NDRRMC for "actual calamities" and not for "preparation of relocation sites/facilities, and training personnel engaged in direct disaster." Aquino emphasized that "the provision for pre-disaster activities are embedded and subsumed in the programs and projects of various implementing agencies under this Act (Republic Act 10121, which created the NDRRMC)."

 

However, Palatino argued that based on Section 22 of Republic Act 10121, "disaster risk reduction, prevention, and preparedness should be the primary mandate of the agency." It also states that quick response to calamities should be secondary and should only be given 30 percent of the total NDRRMC budget.

 

Thus, Palatino said, "RA 10121 affirms the importance of pre-disaster preparations over quick response measures. The decision of President Aquino to veto disaster preparation for this year’s Calamity Fund results to unequipped personnel and inefficient government response before, during, and after calamities."

 

For more on this story, log on to Interaksyon.com.

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