Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said Congress can pass a P10-billion supplemental budget to augment the funds needed to help the people affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
During yesterday’s “Kapihan sa Senado,” Gatchalian said at present, the government has a P27-billion calamity fund—P16 billion for 2020 and P11 billion carried over from 2019.
However, he admitted this will not be enough considering the Taal Volcano eruption’s damages on agriculture and livelihood of affected families.
“It will not be enough so the Senate and House of Representatives can reallocate not lower than P10 billion for the purpose, but this is dependent on the findings later on,” said Gatchalian.
He said that the P35 billion is more on infrastructure only and does not include the loss on livelihood.
He said it is important to know the complete picture, but “I can see the need for a supplemental budget.”
Analysts, Gatchalian said, noted that the country could lose as much as P35 billion because of the Taal Volcano eruption.
“The initial damages was estimated at P35 billion. This can even increase. We can see the huge shortage when it comes to calamity fund and the estimated damages,” said Gatchalian.
The Department of Agriculture earlier said the damage to agriculture caused by The damage caused by eruption of the Taal Volcano has now reached P577.39 million.
It said an estimated 2,772 hectares have been affected, covering commodities such as rice, corn, coffee, cacao, banana, and high-value crops and 1,967 animal heads
“Dito papasok ang Kongreso para magkaroon ng supplemental budget at magreallocate tayo ng pondo para doon sa kulang pa pagdating sa rehabilitation, ‘yun na ang next phase,” he said.