Senator Seeks Supplemental Budget for Damage to Agriculture

October 23, 2010
Mario B. Casayuran
Manila Bulletin
October 23, 2010
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis N. Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Good Committee, has asked Congress to enact a supplemental budget for agriculture following the heavy damage caused by typhoon “Juan.’’
While the House of Representatives approved two weeks ago the proposed 2011 P1.6 trillion national budget, the Senate still has to wind up its hearings on the budget.
“Congress should consider enacting a supplemental budget to address the damage wrought by typhoon Juan. Damage to agriculture alone is at P7.5 billion and rising, yet the calamity fund for 2010 is nearly depleted. We must act swiftly and allocate the needed funds to ensure that rehabilitation isn’t hampered by lack of funds,” Pangilinan said.
“The typhoon Juan that just passed highlighted the inadequacy of the calamity fund. A P5-billion calamity fund for 2010 is not even sufficient for one super-typhoon,’’ he said.
A Department of Agriculture’s Situationer Report No. 174, released on the afternoon of October 22, showed that the total damage from Typhoon Juan has reached P7.55 billion worth of crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.
The figures are still likely to rise in the coming days, he said.
“Without the funds, rehabilitation efforts will be meaningless and our people’s suffering will not be abated,” Pangilinan said.
“Let’s act now to ensure that we can provide our people with a cushion to soften the blows of all this damage. The sooner we allocate funds, the sooner the sooner our countrymen can rise back on their feet,’’ he said.
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