MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Saturday evening reassured the public that government has enough funds to help those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The President said the funds include some P16 billion in savings, P6 billion from the President’s Social Fund, and P1 billion from the calamity and contingency funds.
“And yung sa reconstruction phase naman (As for the reconstruction phase), most of that would occur next year wherein the new budget hopefully will have been approved and there will be new funding for the rehabilitation,” he said after getting a briefing on the situation at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
On the other hand, the President said the government can draw from the Quick Response Funds of agencies such as the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
He noted that the bulk of the DPWH’s work for now is clearing roads.
“At isama ko na rin pala. Sinasabi ng DOST, DENR, na parang itong event na ‘Yolanda’ ay tapos na,” he added.
Meanwhile the President reiterated that the government’s priority now is to restore power and communications to affected areas.
He said the DPWH will clear roads to facilitate relief efforts, while the DSWD and agencies like the National Food Authority go full blast in repacking operations.
For their part, the military’s C-130 planes and seacraft are going all-out in bringing relief goods to affected areas.
The President also cited the Armed Forces of the Philippines for conducting aerial surveys despite dangerous weather conditions.
He said the Department of Science and Technology had said the weather at the time was dangerous, especially for helicopters.
“But, to the credit more of our men in uniform, and the Air Force helicopters have been flying, conducting aerial surveys and also delivering relief to areas that are presently inaccessible,” the President said. (MNS)