Gatchalian wants LGUs to have more options to use disaster fund

Published August 13, 2022, 12:49 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Senator Win Gatchalian wants local government units (LGUs) to have more options in using their funds dedicated for disasters by filing a measure to amend existing laws..

Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 939, which seeks to amend the Philippine Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Act to broaden LGUs’ options in using their Local Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (LDRRM) fund.

Among LGUs’ new options include allowing them to use the fund to finance infrastructure projects aimed at mitigating the effects of natural disasters.

“Dahil sa palaging tinatamaan ng kalamidad at sakuna ang ating bansa, dapat handa tayo sa lahat ng pagkakataon upang maiwasang masira ang mga tahanan at mga gusali, mawasak ang kabuhayan, at may buhay na makitil higit sa lahat (Because our country is always hit by natural calamities, we should always be ready to avoid destruction),” Gatchalian said.

“Dahil mas malapit ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan sa ating mga kababayan, kailangan nating patatagin ang kanilang kakayahan na rumesponde sa mga kalamidad (Because our local government units are always on the frontline, we should strengthen our response capacity during calamities) ,” he added.

Gatchalian also proposed in his bill the use of the LDRRM Fund to pay for obligations incurred in funding projects related to disaster preparedness and mitigation as well as to hire necessary personnel that would implement local DRRM programs.

Gatchalian, who served as Valenzuela City mayor, noted that when an LGU is less prone to disasters or calamities, its LDRRM Fund accrues to a special trust fund which may only be used for disaster risk and reduction management (DRRM) for the next five years.

The senator also wanted LGUs to be allowed to use their unused annual funds within three years, instead of five.