Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday filed a joint resolution seeking an additional 12 billion pesos to augment the 2-billion peso calamity fund so the government can help battered communities recover quickly from the devastation wrought by Ondoy and Pepeng.
In joint resolution no. 33, he also said that the last two typhoons “may not be the last of their kind” to hit the Philippines this year. Pepeng is the 16th of 20 weather disturbances projected to enter the country’s area of responsibility.
The government has said only 24 million pesos remain of the P2-billion peso calamity fund which has been depleted because of the past calamities that have hit the country in the last 91/2 months.
Escudero filed the resolution a day after visiting five flood-ravaged towns in Pangasinan where he distributed relief goods and consulted with local officials on relief and rehabilitation efforts.
“Kahapon binisita ko ang limang bayan ng Pangasinan, partikular Rosales, San Nicolas, Tayug, Asingan at Villasis at nakita ko ang kaluno-lunos na kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan,” he said on a press conference at the Senate.
Escudero said his party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), will meet Monday night to map out plans on how to help in relief and rehabilitation efforts for victims of Ondoy and Pepeng.
“Nagdesisyon at nagpasya kaming ipagpaliban ang pag-anunsyo at pagdeklara kaugnay ng balakin ko sa 2010 elections sa kadahilanan na nagaganap na kalamidad sa ibat-ibang parte ng ating bansa. Hindi tamang pag-usapan ang politika habang marami sa ating mga kababayan na baon pa at hinahanap pa at walang mga tirahang pedeng malipatan at gayundin walang pagkainna makain,” he said.
In the joint resolution, Escudero also proposed the creation of a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to oversee the utilization of the supplemental fund. It would be composed of six members and will be jointly chaired by the chairpersons of the Senate committee on finance and the House committee on appropriations.#