MANILA, PhilippinesSenator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee which has oversight of the national budget, on Tuesday (May 4) said he asked agencies to report how they spent their calamity funds as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P2.91 billion of the funds for 2020 and 2021 in April.
“We’re actually inquiring with the agencies on disbursements made and awaiting information on the unspent calamity funds,” Angara told the Inquirer.
“Calamity funds are usually expected to be spent expeditiously since they respond to emergency events, and often there is great urgency and need for these funds,” said Angara, who steered approval of the 2020 and 2021 national budgets in the Senate.
“And during the budget hearings we are often told how the year’s budget is insufficient for rehabilitation of disaster or calamity-hit communities, which is why for this year 2021, Congress added to the calamity fund,” Angara said.
From P16 billion in 2020, this year’s national disaster risk reduction management fund (NDRRMF) had been set aside a bigger P20 billion.