Press Release
August 14, 2012

Senate ready to pass supplemental budget
to intensify gov't rehab efforts, says Drilon

Senator Franklin M. Drilon today said the Senate is ready to consider a possible supplemental budget in order to authorize additional funds to respond to devastation brought about by recent massive flooding.

"If necessary, we are willing to recommend to the Senate a supplementary budget or adjust the 2013 proposed budget for medium and long term projects that will be needed to immediately address the calamities," said Drilon, who also chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

The proposed 2013 budget is currently being reviewed in the Congress.

President Aquino on Monday approved the swift implementation of around P5 billion flood control projects such as the repair of damaged dikes, roads, bridges, and pumping stations in areas greatly affected by the recent calamity, noted Drilon.

However, Drilon explained that only about P10.9 billion is available for realignment consisting of P9.4 billion savings from 2012 General Appropriations Act, which were basically realized from unused budgets for unfilled positions in the first half of the year, and some unused allocation for Public-Private Partnership for school buildings. There is also P1.5 billion savings from 2011 appropriations.

The P10.9 billion, he noted, is in addition to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways for road maintenance and rehabilitation efforts.

Also, the Quick Response Fund of P7.5 billion for 2012 is already depleted, said Drilon. He added that the remaining balance may not be enough to respond to a number of typhoons that are expected to visit the country in the coming months, added Drilon.

He said the supplemental fund may capacitate further the government to advance immediate relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of the recent calamity, as well as to carry out needed engineering interventions to address perennial flooding in the country.

In addition, Drilon was worried over a potential negative effect of the recent calamities in the country's economy and growth target as what happened when typhoon Ondoy hit the country in 2009.

"Infusion of funds for rehabilitation will enable the economy to achieve the programmed GDP growth of 5-6%. It should be noted that the result of typhoon Ondoy in 2009, there was a reduction in gross domestic growth of 0.4 percent as against programmed," said Drilon.

Earlier, Drilon said the government may need foreign loans to implement a long-term flood mitigation plan estimated to be at around P352 billion.

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