Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has appealed again to the national government to assist local government units also affected by Typhoon Ulysses by augmenting their calamity funds equivalent to 1% of their respective Internal Revenue Allotment.
Earlier, Go successfully appealed to the budget department to augment the same funds of LGUs hit by Super Typhoon Rolly that earlier wrought devastation in many areas in Luzon, particularly Bicol and parts of southern Luzon.
According to the Senator, most of the calamity funds of LGUs have been depleted due to the unexpected pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that continues to affect the lives of Filipinos.
“Umaapela ako ulit sa ating gobyerno, kay Pangulo at sa DBM, na tulungan ang mga pinaka-apektadong LGUs na nangangailangan ng dagdag na calamity funds para mas makaresponde sa mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga kababayan,” Go said.
“Kailangan nila ng dagdag na pondo para makabili ng pagkain, gamot at iba pang gamit para maalagaan ang mga nasalanta at matulungang makabangon muli. Kahit at least 1% lang po ay i-replenish ninyo, malaki nang tulong ito,” he appealed.
Go’s appeal came after calls for assistance from affected LGUs as their calamity funds have been exhausted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and by the recent string of typhoons that hit the country the past months.
“Malaki po ang magagawa ng pondong ito upang mapunan ang mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga komunidad, lalo na’t nabawasan na ang kanilang naunang pondo dahil sa pandemya,” he added.
Go also suggested that the executive department may explore the possibility for incremental provision of additional funds to severely affected LGUs depending on the extent of the needs of communities and on the availability of funds.
“Sunud-sunod ang mga sakuna at krisis na dumating sa ating bansa. Kaya ngayon na may hinaharap silang panibagong krisis, huwag natin silang pabayaan at bigyan natin sila ng dagdag na tulong. Sabi nga ng Pangulo, no one should be left behind,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Go also urged LGUs to monitor evacuation sites and that health protocols are properly followed since COVID-19 has not yet been fully contained in the country. He added that protocols must be in place to avoid the further spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
“Sa mga LGU officials, tutukan natin ang mga evacuation sites dahil kailangan masunod ang mga health protocols. Narito pa rin ang COVID-19 at habang wala pang bakuna para dito, patuloy dapat tayong maging alerto at iwasan ang pagkakahawaan,” he added.
Go also mentioned that the government is monitoring the development of the vaccine as it was reported that two vaccines have reached at least 90% efficiency against the virus. He stressed the need to plan, communicate and implement a national vaccination program to guarantee equitable access and systematic provision once safe and effective vaccines are made available.
“Siguraduhin nating magkaroon ng access ang mga pinaka-nangangailangan, lalo na ang mga mahihirap at vulnerable sectors. Sila ang kailangan lumabas at magtrabaho upang buhayin ang pamilya nila,” he said.