Press Release
November 12, 2013


A separate fund dedicated solely for the rehabilitation of the Visayas region ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake is being proposed by Senator Chiz Escudero.

Escudero, chairman of the senate committee on finance said he will ask that this distinct fund be carved out from items in the 2014 national budget that can be postponed without so much impacting on the obligations of departmental programs.

"We are currently meeting with various government agencies to look into their respective budgets and see what we can postpone and revise so we can come up with a separate fund for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the badly hit Visayan region".

The senator said Visayas, after massively hit by the earthquake and Yolanda, is faced with humanitarian and economic crises of severe proportions due to the extent of these calamities.

Escudero said along with the proposal for a Visayan fund, he is also proposing special provisions in the budget to address victims of the typhoon Santi and the recent stand-off in Zamboanga City. Santi slammed through Central Luzon in October this year damaging farmlands and properties.

He said this fund is in addition to the current calamity fund stipulated in the budget. It would expedite the rebuilding and reconstruction of the areas mentioned above, the senator added.

"We need to undertake concrete measures to help our countrymen to stand-up and recover; measures to aid efforts towards the rebuilding of lives".

Earlier, he called for a moratorium on the payment of debts as well as the imposition of interest and penalties on financial obligations of victims of the recent calamities.

Escudero today filed Philippine Senate Resolution No. 352 (PSR 352) urging all public and private financial institutions to suspend debt payments in areas damaged by natural and man-made disasters.

"We make this instant call in the unique Filipino spirit of bayanihan so we can give aid and succor to our affected countrymen in this trying time".

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