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PIA Press Release

PGMA signs new law allowing LGUs use of calamity funds beyond 5%

Cebu City (17 June) -- A new law signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo provides local government units (LGUs) to use their calamity funds beyond the previous cap of five percent based on their internal revenue allotment (IRA).

Pres. Arroyo signed last May 27 RA 10121 otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act which basically shifts the focus from disaster response and recovery towards disaster risk reduction, preparedness and mitigation.

As the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned on the threat of La Niņa with the onset of the rainy season on top of an average of 21-22 typhoons annually, the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) has reminded the local chief executives to reactivate their disaster risk reduction committees in the barangay level.

DILG-7 Public Information Officer Willie jean Cabanag however said, their office will still conduct the two-day orientation briefing on the Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program to guide the new local chief executives on their duties and responsibilities.

"All LGUs know that they have to come up with their disaster preparedness plan and we do remind them," according to Cabanag.

Cabanag said the new law signed by Pres. Arroyo changes the name of the National Disaster Coordinating Council to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council which is also applicable to the regional levels.

The name of the Office of the Civil Defense will also be replaced to the new National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, which will be under the Office of the President that served as its secretariat, this is reported.

Cabanag said the salient points of the law include the use of calamity funds by the LGUs beyond the five percent of its IRA for disaster reduction, preparedness and mitigation.

"Previously, LGUs can only use up to the maximum of five percent of their IRA for disaster preparedness but with the new law, this gives them the flexibility to increase funding for any disaster risk reduction measures," Cabanag said.

Cabanag also said that if LGUs cannot use up their calamity funds, the money will not go the general fund but instead to their trust fund and accumulates over time.

The implementing rules and regulations however, have yet to be finalized, Cabanag disclosed. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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