Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr visited the province of Quezon on Thursday, November 26, where he brought the good news of immediate financial assistance from the national government through augmentation funds in support of the depleted calamity funds of affected local government units (LGUs) of the province.
“Dalawang beses na po tayong nag release ng P1.5-Billion para augmentation funds para sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na nasalanta ng sunod-sunod na bagyo. … kung maalala ninyo po yung pangalawang P1.5 billion ay napirmahan lang ni Presidente noong araw ng Lunes, noong latest Talk to the People ng ating Presidente,” said Secretary Roque at the press briefing held in the City of Lucena in Quezon Province.
“Bukod pa po diyan, ay nandiyan na po yung mga tulong ng mga ibang ahensya na nanggaling sa kanilang quick reaction [response] funds at saka…dahil sa agricultural province po ang Quezon, tatawagan din po namin over lunch si Sec. Dar kung ano pa po yung mga pwedeng maasahang tulong. Pero usually po yan mga binhi at saka yung outright cash doon sa mga magsasaka na nawalan po ng kanilang mga pananim,” said the Cabinet official.
The province of Quezon was affected by five successive typhoons that include Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses. According to Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez, damage to the province’s infrastructure, agriculture sector, and school classrooms is estimated to be more than P3-Billion.
Governor Suarez said national government assistance is needed by the province’s banana and coconut industries, adding that a massive replanting program is needed to rehabilitate affected agricultural sectors.
In response, Secretary Roque called the attention of Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado to ask the concern of the officials of the province of Quezon with regard to financial and other assistance needed for the rehabilitation of the province.
Secretary Avisado informed the officials of the province that financial assistance for Quezon for typhoons Quinta and Rolly have already been released. Secretary Avisado said that the initial financial assistance that has been released for the province of Quezon amounted to P49.680-Million.
As of date, Sec. Avisado said that the national government has already provided P225, 742, 463 augmentation to calamity funds of Quezon’s LGUs, which came from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
Aside from the initial assistance, Avisado said that additional financial assistance for the provincial government of Quezon for typhoon Ulysses will be P22,221,000, and that all 39 LGUs will also receive additional financial assistance for their calamity fund.
In total, Avisado said that apart from the P225-Million for typhoons Quinta and Rolly, Quezon Province will still receive P74, 955, 486 for typhoon Ulysses, which he said will be released tomorrow, November 27, if not today.
Aside from the financial assistance, the national government through relevant agencies have provided quick assistance to the province of Quezon in response to the successive typhoons that hit the province.
Quezon Third District Representative Aleta Suarez said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Public Works and Highways immediately sent assistance to the province following the devastation caused by the recent typhoons. Rep. Suarez also appealed to the national government for additional fund to fix roads damaged by typhoons.
Meanwhile, on the matter of COVID vaccines, Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured that the national government is already preparing supply chain facilities in preparation for the coming of the vaccines. In view of the contract that the Philippines will soon enter into, Sec. Galvez said that the national government will jointly plan with the vaccine manufacturer on when will the vaccines be delivered, as well as its storage and distribution. ### OPS-PCOO