Press Release
November 25, 2010


In an event sponsored by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III proposed the creation of a fund that would complement both the National and Local government calamity funds. Called the LGU Solidarity Fund for Disasters, it will be designed to respond to the urgent need of LGUs for relief and rehabilitation that follow a disaster.

"The increasing frequency and severity of disasters exhaust the already inadequate funds set aside for addressing the losses resulting from them. We do not even have enough for immediate rescue and relief efforts following a disaster," Guingona said. The proposed Solidarity Fund will provide immediate liquidity to any LGU member, making payouts when defined catastrophic events occur. Contributions to the fund will be sourced from the LGU budget for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, a feature contained in the DRRM Act of 2010 which Se. Guingona co-sponsored as a member of the House of Representatives. The Solidarity Fund for Disasters will operate as a pool of funds held in trust and professionally managed with the supervision of representatives from the LGUs themselves, as well as the DILG. Because disasters do not affect all LGUs at the same time, a pooled fund will direct resources to where it is urgently needed. Thereby, using limited public funds efficiently.

"The Solidarity Fund will work like a mutual benefit fund for LGUs. It will empower LGUs to work together to address disasters that few LGUs can address on their own," Guingona added.

The LGU Solidarity Fund for Disasters is one in a package of proposals that Sen. Guingona is preparing to operationalize and enhance the DRRM Act. It will also act as a model for cooperation between LGUs to address common problems.

"The DRRM Act represents a new paradigm in disaster management. It is a new way in dealing with old but recurring problems that have worsened for lack of a comprehensive and sustained strategy. The LGU Solidarity Fund for Disasters builds on this new paradigm by bringing cooperative action between LGUs to bear on the common problem of disaster. I foresee that this cooperative approach towards DRRM can be replicated in Solidarity Funds between countries in a region or even in a Global Solidarity Fund for Disasters," Guingona concluded.

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