Duterte may declare state of national calamity after "Rolly" - DBM chief
President Rodrigo Duterte may declare a state of national calamity as some P10.1 billion contingency fund could be tapped to assist areas devastated by Super Typhoon "Rolly," Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said on Thursday.
In a televised press briefing, the Department of Budget and Management chief said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is set to meet on Friday to discuss further actions to be taken after ''Rolly'' whipped the country on November 1.
"It will be discussed tomorrow among other things the declaration of national calamity in the areas covered or affected by Super Typhoon 'Rolly,'" he said.
If a declaration of national calamity will be made, Avisado said they would determine if the national government could directly provide cash assistance to the local government units and not through the Office of the Civil Defense.
Avisado added that the government still has P10.1 billion available contingency fund on top of the P3.6 billion National Disaster Risk reduction and Management Fund.
"The state of our NDRRM Fund as of now is we still have a balance of P3.6 billion...we also have the contingency fund of P10.1 billion," he said.
"So, this could be used by our national government but could not be directly released to the local government units," Avisado said.
The local government of Catanduanes, one of the provinces greatly damaged by ''Rolly'', has been asking relief and cash assistance from the national government as its calamity fund has been depleted.
"Because of the huge damage in our province, if possible, we want to ask fund to assist in the rehabilitation of our province because our calamity fund has been depleted. Because aside from the pandemic, a week before, Typhoon 'Quinta' hit us, this Super Typhoon ''Rolly'' also directly hit us," said Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua in the same press briefing held in the province.
At least six people died and one is missing in Catanduanes, where ''Rolly'' made landfall on Sunday.
Cua said damage to agriculture sector in Catanduanes reached P1.4 billion, with P1.296 billion sustained by the abaca industry, while damage to infrastructure was estimated at P470.9 million.
Power and water are still a problem in the province, Cua added. Celerina Monte/DMS