Press Release
November 24, 2013

Congress seeks to extend validity of 2013 calamity-related funds
to aid in disaster relief and rehab activities

The Senate along with the House of Representatives will file a joint resolution seeking to extend the validity of funds in the 2013 national budget related to calamity response, saying these are needed to fully support the urgent relief and long-term rehabilitation efforts of calamity-stricken areas throughout the entire country, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today.

"The proposed resolution will extend for one more fiscal year the authorization to spend the appropriations for calamity fund and other disaster and relief related programs in the budgets of selected line agencies estimated to be around P20.8 billion," said Drilon.

"Speaker Sonny Belmonte and I have agreed to file a joint resolution to extend until December 31 of next year the authority to spend the funds intended for calamity response before the current General Appropriations Act expires on December 31, 2013, so that the funds can be used by agencies dealing with disaster relief and rebuilding activities," explained Drilon.

"Otherwise, if they remain unobligated by the end of the year, the funds will go back to the National Treasury and could not be used anymore by the start of the next fiscal year," he added.

The Senate chief pointed out that the continued use of the P20.8 billion - which the authority to spend it will lapse by the end of December - can augment funding for massive relief and rehabilitation efforts, in light of the considerable loss of life and property caused by various devastating disasters particularly super typhoon Yolanda.

"We have to capacitate the government for it to be able to respond adequately and effectively to urgent and pressing needs of our people who have been gravely affected by the series of natural and man-made calamities that hit the country, until they are able to get back up on their feet," assured Drilon.

"The ultimate beneficiaries of our actions are the people who were left homeless, hungry and in despair by the calamities. We need to help them rebuild their lives and their homes," he added.

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