BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan revealed that the P91 million available calamity fund of the local government this year is not sufficient to restore the damages inflicted by the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone ompong to public infrastructure in the different parts of the city.
The local chief executive reported that public infrastructure in the city suffered a total of over P404 million worth of damages due to the wrath of the weather disturbance, thus, the need to convene the members of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) to prioritize the utilization of the available calamity funds while awaiting whatever the national government will apportion as the city’s share from the earmarked funds from concerned government agencies and the Office of the President.
“We will have to work on the prioritization of the projects that will be funded from the available calamity funds because we will not spend the whole amount for the damages suffered by the city’s public infrastructure so that we will have available funds to use for future calamities that might visit the city until the end of the year,” Domogan stressed.
He emphasized that the P91 million calamity fund of the local government is good for utilization for the whole year that is why it is important to study the proper utilization of the funds so as not to exhaust the same in a single situation considering that there are still a number of typhoons that are expected to prevail in the city in the coming months.
According to him, the declaration of 4 regions, including the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), under state of calamity by President Rodrigo R. Duterte is a welcome development because the national government will surely provided the needed funding assistance to the affected local governments in terms of recovery and rehabilitation projects which will be programmed to restore the damages sustained by the city’s major infrastructures.
Domogan claimed not all the calamity funds will be spent because 70 percent should be earmarked for prevention and mitigation projects while the remaining 30 percent will be made available for quick response initiatives, especially during the onslaught of natural calamities.
Concerned offices of the local government that are also members of the LDRRMC are now going around the city’s 128 barangays to assess and validate the reported damages to private and public property that were inflicted by the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Ompong to be able to come out with a detailed report on the actual damages suffered by the city from the natural calamity.
He expressed optimism that no other similar weather disturbance will take its wrath in the city during the remaining months of the year so that residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy the spirit of celebrating Christmas and New Year.
He predicted that the amount of damages inflicted by Tropical Cyclone Ompong to private and public properties in the city are expected to increase in the coming weeks once the LDRRMC members all have completed the ongoing assessment and validation of damage reports in the different barangays that were ravaged by the typhoon.
By Dexter A. See