Press Release
November 23, 2013


President Benigno S. Aquino III will certify as urgent the passage of a P14.6-billion supplemental budget for 2013 to buttress government capacity to assist and rehabilitate calamity-stricken areas, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said today.

Drilon met with Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte yesterday to discuss the proposed supplemental budget, where Abad assured the two leaders that the President is supportive of the proposed legislation and will certify it as urgent.

"We are working on a very tight timetable as the current General Appropriations Act is going to expire by the end of the year and as there are only five weeks left in our legislative calendar. The certification by the President will ensure the immediate passage of this bill," emphasized Drilon.

According to the Senate chief, they had agreed to the "absolute vitality" of the supplemental budget to authorize the executive to spend additional P14.6 billion for fiscal year 2013 for massive relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of various calamities that hit the country during the second semester.

Drilon also explained that the Congress can already start working on the proposed measure since the Bureau of Treasury, through National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon, has already issued a certification dated November 21 asserting the availability of funds that can be tapped for the proposed supplemental budget.

The funds will be sourced from the unspent Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations for 2013, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, noted Drilon.

"Everything is in order now for the immediate passage of this supplemental budget. Hopefully, it can be passed as early as possible, since the victims of these calamities urgently need the augmented support of the government for rehabilitation," stressed Drilon.

"Who will ultimately benefit from our urgent actions would be those who were left homeless, hungry and in despair by the calamities. We need to help them right now," he added.

The P14.6-billion additional funds will be used mostly to rehabilitate and repair various infrastructure that were destroyed by the past disasters - including super typhoon Yolanda that wrought havoc in Central Visayas particularly Leyte, the typhoons Santi and Labuyo that hit Luzon, the siege in Zamboanga City, and as well as the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Bohol and Cebu provinces.

The proposed measure will also be used to provide assistance to families whose homes and livelihood were destroyed by calamities, particularly super typhoon Yolanda.

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