Press Release
December 5, 2013

Senate approves P14.6 billion supplemental budget

A total of P143 billion will be made available to the government for post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction programs throughout next year, which includes the P14.6 billion supplemental budget that the Senate approved on third and final reading today, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon.

With 15 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention, the Senate approved House Bill No. 3423, authorizing the creation of a P14.6 billion supplemental budget, which will be sourced from the savings realized as a result of the Supreme Court decision declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional.

"Given the magnitude of the damage caused by the past disasters, it is our obligation as your legislators to ensure that the government will have adequate funds to perk up its capacity to respond sufficiently to the immediate needs of the victims of recent disastrous events," said Drilon.

"With such a significant amount of funding to be handed to its disposal, the government will be fully equipped to rebuild the provinces ravaged by the calamities especially in building the needed classrooms, power utilities and housing units," he added.

Under the measure, the P14.6 billion supplemental budget will be given to government line agencies responsible for the review, repair and reconstruction of public infrastructures heavily damaged by recent calamities, particularly during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda.

Drilon further explained that the funds will be used "to accelerate recovery for our countrymen in the Visayas and other affected areas and to intensify efforts for rehabilitation, repair and reconstruction of severely damaged buildings and facilities as early as possible."

"President Aquino himself views the issue of rehabilitation as 'a vital priority' when he certified this bill as urgent," he added.

Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chiz Escudero said that of the P14.6 billion, P11.2 billion will be used as calamity rehabilitation fund while P3.4 billion will be used as the quick response fund by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Escudero added the Senate Finance Committee, the House Committee on Appropriations and the Commission on Audit will strictly require accountability of the expenditures through quarterly reports which will be reviewed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), before being listed on their website for transparency purposes.

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