By Jose Cielito Reganit
MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday said PHP30,000 cash assistance for each displaced family should be included in the proposed PHP30 billion supplemental budget for victims of Taal Volcano eruption.
Hontiveros made this proposal as he welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call on Congress to appropriate an additional PHP30 billion for the calamity.
“Yung panukala ko ay sa context na rin sa sinabi ni Presidente na magkakaroon ng supplemental budget para sa mga Taal evacuees (My proposal is within the context of the President’s call to have a supplemental budget for Taal evacuees),” Hontiveros said in a media interview.
“Ang importante sanang gusto kong bigyang-diin na idetalye na meron doong naka-earmark for cash assistance talaga, 30,000 pesos bawat pamilya sa loob ng kabuuang supplemental budget na iyon. (It is important to specify under the supplemental budget that PHP30,0000 cash assistance is earmarked for each affected family),” she added.
She said the cash aid could be spent by the affected families in their daily subsistence in the coming months as they rebuild their lives.
Hontiveros said the cash assistance should be in the form of a grant and not a loan.
“Kasi sa panahon ngayon na bigla nalang halos nawalan ng lahat dahil sa pagsabog ng bulkan. Alangan naman ibaon pa natin sa pagkakautang yung mga apektadong pamilya (Because at this time when they almost lost everything because of the sudden volcanic eruption, we should not bury the affected families in debt),” she said.
The beneficiaries, she said, would be identified from the comprehensive report prepared by the affected local government units under the supervision of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
She said the “modest” cash aid would serve as initial assistance while the national government completes its post-disaster assessment, planning, and budgeting for the rehabilitation phase in the affected areas.
“Kung tutuusin, maliit na halaga — pantawid pansamantala sa ngayon sa ating mga apektadong pamilya (In truth a small amount – will tide over the affected families in the meantime),” Hontiveros said. (PNA)