Gov’t assures aid for quake victims

By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) have assured that the national government has the funds to immediately help the victims of Mindanao earthquakes.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (DOF photo / Howard Felipe) Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (DOF photo / Howard Felipe)

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has funds and relief supplies for victims of the recent earthquakes.

Dominguez said the funds and relief goods held by the two national agencies will be immediately sent to families affected by a series of strong earthquakes that struck Mindanao last week.

“The DILG and DSWD have funds and goods for immediate release for the disaster relief for the victims,” Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message.
Aside from DILG and DSWD, the finance chief added that they asked all treasurers and assessors of the affected local government units (LGUs) to submit their damage estimates to determine the amount required for rehabilitation.

“Estimates for damages to government infrastructure and buildings should take a week or so. Damage to private property most likely a bit longer,” Dominguez explained.

He also said that state financial institutions including Social Security System (SSS), Government Services Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Guarantee Corp. (PhilGuarantee) and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) will develop programs to assist victims.

The program under GSIS, SSS, PhilGuarantee and HDMF or Pag-IBIG Fund would handle the uninsured properties destroyed by a series of deadly earthquakes that rattled the southern country.

Budget Acting Secretary Wendel E. Avisado, meanwhile, said that all national departments have their quick response funds to augment the limited calamity funds of the LGUs.

Avisado said the departments’ quick response funds were now being “downloaded” to their respective regional, provincial, city and municipal offices to hasten the relief operations for the victims.

“If our quick response funds were not enough, the LGUs can request for augmentation based on the DBM guidelines and we assure them we will immediately release the required additional funds,” he said.