Higher budget for DRRM in 4th to 6th class municipalities urged

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Even before the budget of P3.767 trillion for 2018 could yet be spent, deliberations on the 2019 are expected to commence either in January or February, for which Rep. Frederick Siao of the lone district of Iligan City and member of the appropriation, economic affairs committees, among others, is asking for a higher budget for 4th to 6th class municipalities for disaster risk reduction management as they are the ones most vulnerable to calamities.

 

Siao said the 2019 budget cycle will start very soon, most likely in January or early February, with the issuance of the budget call from DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno.  “Anticipating that, I now ask Secretary Diokno to include more funding in the 2019 budget for disaster risk reduction and management, particularly for 4th, 5th, and 6th class municipalities—the most vulnerable and weakest in terms of DRRM.”


Storms like Urduja and Vinta now and Pablo before are stark reminders that the poor towns and the coastal and river basin LGUs are at high risk, he said.


A DRRM capacity- building program for these high- risk LGUs and developed by both the DBM and National DRRM Council would be the appropriate solution and prevention.


He co-authored HB 1648, which seeks to create a NDRRM Authority and is one of ten bills pending in the House. 

Only last November 17, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia asked Congress “to conclude the review of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management or DRRM Act of 2010 to make our institutions more effective in ensuring that communities in the country are more resilient to natural and man-made shocks.” 


He asked both secretaries Pernia and Diokno to convince President Duterte to certify the DRRM bills as urgent, so that both chambers of Congress will expedite those bills and get them passed before the end of the current second regular session in May 2018.


He said his concern is that the DRRM programs of Iligan dovetail with those of nearby Cagayan de Oro City and Marawi City because disasters that strike any one of the cities affect the others.

 
“It is for this reason that I will reach out to my colleagues and neighbors in CDO and Marawi to work out a framework and a bill for a metropolitan or inter-city approach to DRRM,” he stressed.


He said he would support and convince other congressman to support the additional DRRM funding for the poorest municipalities which the DBM will propose and to get the DRRM Law amendments passed.

 

 

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