MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Congress to pass a PHP30-billion supplemental budget to build more evacuation centers in Southern Tagalog provinces devastated by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Duterte made the call after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sought for additional funding from the Congress and Office of the President to augment the nearly “depleted” calamity funds at the local level.
“Itong pangyayari na ito hindi naman ito kasali sa budgeting. Hindi naman natin akalaing puputok. So baka magkaroon tayo ng supplemental budget sa Congress (This incident is not part of the budget. Nobody expected it to erupt. So we might have a supplemental budget from Congress),” Duterte said during the ceremonial distribution of calamity assistance to families affected by the Taal eruption in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas.
“That is why it would be good if Congress can provide the money together with the — itong tulong ninyo. May estimate na sila (work on it together. I think they have an estimate). I think it was Congressman Villafuerte who made the… It’s about PHP30 billion,” he added, referring to House Deputy Speaker for Finance and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray “LRay” Villafuerte Jr.
Duterte also called on Congress to raise the amount to PHP50 billion to allow the construction of more evacuation centers.
“Dagdagan na lang nila gawain nila 50 para magtayo ng evacuation center (They can even add, make it 50 so we can put up evacuation centers),” Duterte said. (PCOO/PNA/IAmigo/Currentph.com)