DBM and USAID increase their financial support for Odette victims


RECONSTRUCTION Ubay’s residents, Bohol, are digging through debris piles to find anything they can use to rebuild their homes destroyed by Typhoon “Odette” as it battered the Visayas and Mindanao during the week last. —LEO UDTOHAN

MANILA, Philippines – The national government and the United States have increased their financial support to communities devastated by Typhoon Odette last week.

The documents of the Order of Release of Special Assignments (Saro) of the Ministry of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that it had approved on December 28 an additional amount of 4.9 billion pesos, paid to the Ministry of Finances (DOF) through the Treasury Office, for the government units (LGU) most affected by “Odette”.

In addition to the P2 billion – P1 billion each on December 24 and 27 – previously paid to the Treasury, the total aid to LGUs in the six regions placed in a state of disaster due to “Odette” now amounted to P6, 9 billion, DBM documents showed.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the DBM said LGUs assigned to Mimaropa will receive a total of 454.2 million pesos; P2.1 billion in the Western Visayas; 1.4 billion pesos in the central Visayas; 1.2 billion pesos in the Eastern Visayas; P363.4 million in northern Mindanao; and 1.3 billion pesos in Caraga.

The latest version of DBM, worth 4.9 billion pesos, will go to people whose livelihoods and properties were damaged in the “Odette” attack. By region, the victims of Mimaropa will be distributed among them 198.2 million pesos; in the Western Visayas, 1.6 billion pesos; Central visayas, 1 billion pesos; Eastern Visayas, 964.1 million pesos; North of Mindanao, 156 million pesos; and Caraga, 864.1 million pesos.

“Affected individuals and families should receive assistance equivalent to P 1,000 per person and a maximum of P 5,000 per household. The beneficiary-LGU should facilitate and determine the most effective means of immediately providing assistance to their constituents, subject to close supervision and monitoring by the Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DSWD) and the Ministry of Social Protection and Development (DSWD), ”DBM said.

“The individual allocations of the respective towns and municipalities were calculated based on the number of individuals and households affected, as recently reported by the DSWD,” added the DBM.

The DBM said that this latest version was charged against unscheduled credits in the 2021 national budget, which means it came from foreign borrowing such as the 4 billion PPP released by the World Bank as part of its fast-disbursing loan granted to the Philippines in November.

As such, these funds “will be recorded as trust receipts, implying that the fund can only be used by the beneficiary-LGU to provide assistance to those affected by the damage caused by Typhoon ‘Odette'” , said DBM.

When releasing funds from the Treasury to LGUs through their respective authorized government service banks, local leaders must disburse all their allocations until December 31, 2022. “Otherwise, all funds not used after the end of December of the year. next year will be donated to the National Treasury. by the LGU concerned ”, according to the DBM.

With 827.2 million pesos of rapid response funds (FRR) replenished by DBM for three government agencies responding to post-“Odette” needs, the national government has so far released a total of 7.7 billion dollars. pesos to rebuild and rehabilitate areas and populations that suffered from the wrath of the typhoon.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), meanwhile, has increased its humanitarian aid to the victims of “Odette” to $ 20.2 million, or more than 1.01 billion pesos.

The US government initially pledged $ 200,000 (roughly 10 million pesos), then added 1 million pesos (50 million pesos), before this latest additional commitment of 19 million pesos (950 million pesos).

“With this humanitarian aid, USAID will provide food aid; water, sanitation and hygiene programs to help keep people healthy; helping shelters to meet emergency needs and help affected communities start rebuilding their homes; and protecting the most vulnerable, ”the aid agency said in a statement.

“We remain loyal to our friend, partner and longtime ally to help support the communities devastated by the typhoon. This extra help will help deliver food and hygiene supplies, and deliver life-saving aid to those who need it most, ”the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Philippines, Heather Variava, in separate release.

The US Embassy in Manila said Variava “was planning to visit communities affected by Typhoon ‘Odette’ and see US relief activities underway.”

“Since 2010, USAID has provided more than 17 billion pesos ($ 340 million) in emergency relief and recovery assistance, and has strengthened the disaster risk reduction capacity of more than 100 cities and towns. of the Philippines, ”the embassy noted.

The World Bank, which will lend the Philippines a total of $ 200 million, or about Pesos 10 billion on its fourth $ 500 million disaster risk management development policy loan with a deferred drawdown option in disaster event (CAT-DDO 4), said in a Dec. 28 statement. statement that the initial funding of $ 80 million released Tuesday “supports the government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen disaster response and recovery policies and interventions.”

“It is accompanied by technical assistance to support preparations for pre-approved disaster rehabilitation and recovery plans to accelerate access to national government funding for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.” , said the World Bank.

The World Bank noted that this conditional line of credit allowed the Philippines to immediately tap into funding, upon declaration of a state of calamity or a national health emergency, “to manage the financial impacts caused by these shocks. without undertaking disruptive budget reallocations or curtailing the implementation of ongoing programs. . “

“Philippine government can access additional CAT-DDO 4 resources in response to Typhoon Rai [the international name of “Odette”] in January 2022, ”said the World Bank, referring to the additional $ 120 million to be drawn in the first week of next year, as soon as the 2022 national budget loan coverage becomes available, which President Duterte was due to sign on Thursday, December 20. 30.

“In times of calamities like typhoons and floods, poor families suffer disproportionately. The World Bank is with the country during this difficult period. We pledge to help accelerate the country’s recovery and reconstruction efforts, restore social services and strengthen the country’s defenses against future disaster risks, ”Ndiamé Diop, country director of the Washington-based multilateral lender for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand mentioned.

The World Bank’s Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist in the Philippines, Lesley Jeanne Cordero, said the “Ready to Reconstruct (R2R)” program implemented jointly with the National Council for Risk Reduction and Management of disaster (NDRRMC) since March this year “could be used to help the provinces, towns and municipalities affected by super typhoon ‘Odette’ as they develop their local recovery plans, implement reconstruction projects and leverage financial support. “

“This will help devastated communities to rebuild better and pursue a green, resilient and inclusive recovery,” Cordero said.

/ MUF

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