DSWD says calamity fund to be augmented by Malacañang

October 6, 2009 10:37 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 7 — Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said the Office of the President is more than willing to replenish their calamity funds should it run out in the course of conducting relief operations for the victims of tropical storm “Ondoy.”

”Our calamity budget for the year is only P287 million. We have already consumed most of its providing assistance to the people affected by the typhoon. At the moment we only have P24 million remaining,” Esperanza added.

But the DSWD secretary is undeterred by this shrinkage of funds as the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) expressed willingness to give them additional funding for their relief operations.

“We only have to tell them and they will give us the money,” Cabral said.

”Ondoy has displaced an estimated 100,000 families and killed over 300 people during its onslaught last Sept. 26.

The national government is spending P2 million a day to feed people in 2,000 evacuation centers for the past nine days as a result of “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”

Cabral said the money was on top of the donations in cash and in kind from private organizations.

She made the report at the luncheon tendered by President Arroyo for the Balikatan ng Kababaihan at the Presidential Security Group gymnasium in Malacañang Park.

The Balikatan ng Kababaihan is a 29-year-old organization that has been providing livelihood opportunities to thousands of women all over the country by linking them with suppliers of raw materials and machinery and the markets for different kinds of products made from recycled materials.

She said the evacuees normally enjoyed six meals a day, including snacks being given them by the numerous non-government organizations and business and civic clubs that distribute their goods directly to the evacuation centers.

“We now have to wait for the signal from the proposed resettlements or relocation camps before we can let go of these evacuees,” Cabral said.

Regular medical and dental teams are also making the rounds of the evacuation centers to protect them from disease outbreaks caused by the garbage piles, improper sanitation and hygiene and even the places which are still under water as these are good breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can carry diseases like dengue, Cabral said. (PNA)

FFC/PFN

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