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Duterte’s cuts calamity funds by 4 billion pesos amidst Taal Volcano eruption

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As you may already be aware that right now, that the provincial government of Batangas last Monday, January 13, declared a state of calamity in the province due to the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Currently, Taal Volcano is placed under alert level 4 which swiftly switched between alert levels 2, 3, and then 4 in just a matter of days. Alert Level 4 means a hazardous eruption is “imminent,” or may occur “within hours to days.

Thus, as thousands of local residents evacuate to evacuation centers in the region. So does the need for more relief supplies to sustain their stay in the crowded evacuation centers.

Apart from the food, tents, clothes, water and of course hygiene items like toothpaste, soap or toothbrush is already greatly needed. But as it all appears , it seems that the DILG is not prepared to supply and provide many of these vital relief goods under its supposed ”Quick Response Funding” when it comes to disaster relief and response protocol.

Duterte controlled Congress removed and cut off 4 billion pesos government’s calamity fund for the 2020 budget.  This is as based on the bicam report obtained by the media showing a sharp decline in the national disaster response budget of the government.

In fact, Duterte effectively conceded to the decision of Congress to cut the budget, meant for relief, relocation and rehabilitation operations during calamities like the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano, in signing the budget last Jan. 6.

Duterte, who stayed in Davao City were not really bothered by the start of the Taal Volcano unrest last week. He didn’t even bother expressing any official statements to re-assure the people in the affected areas.

He only commented on the on-going relief operations on areas directly affected by the Taal Volcano eruption during his visit to the Philippine Marine Corps. This is also where he handed out ₱50,000 to soldiers who are celebrating their birthdays this month.

The President did not veto any item in the P4.1-trillion budget submitted by Congress and wholeheartedly agreed to the budget cut despite the ongoing relief operations and disaster response because of the Taal Volcano eruption.

Philippines government now ask for donations as Duterte cuts calamity funds by 4 billion pesos?

In a short but brief Twitter post by Department of Interior and Local Government chief Eduardo Año. He then asked people to donate clean drinking water, food, medicines and other relief items towards the people affected by the Taal Volcano explosion.

A netizen on Twitter by the name of Sid Lumawig said in post: Why are you asking us taxpayers to donate? We have paid our dues, use it for calamities. Unless inubos nyo na [you already used them up.]

Rigel Larga also said, “Bilyon bilyon budget ang (Billions have been allotted) for your department but you’re asking but you’re ASKING THE PUBLIC TO PROVIDE WHAT YOU SHOULD PROVIDE????? Wow.”

The Filipino people known for the ”Bayanihan” spirit of helping each other in times of great calamity — did happened. In fact, the only thing which kept many of the survivors fed and supplied with relief goods comes not from the government but by kind-hearted Filipinos and private groups.

All of these things were happening as Duterte apparently irked by the constant nagging by the reporters to at least comment on the on-going relief operations in the affected areas, simply cracked a tasteless braggadocio joke that he might just eat volcanic ash and urinate on the Taal Volcano crater.

Kainin ko pa ‘yang ashfall na ‘yan, pati ‘yang Taal ihian ko ‘yan, bwisit na ‘yan (I’ll eat that ashfall, even Taal, I’ll pee on it, goddamn it),” Duterte said

But I’m sure he won’t be happy to ashfall and urinate on top of Taal Volcano as he’s most likely safe inside his kulambo.

 


Do you want to donate and support on-going relief operations to affected areas by the Taal Volcano eruption? Read here

Here is a list of groups accepting donations as well as how to contact them:

Philippine Red Cross

DSWD Region IV-A

Tulong Kabataan (under Kabataan Party-list)

Caritas Manila

Rotaract Club (San Pedro East 3820 and Taal-Lemery SH)

Some schools have also announced calls for donations:

University of the Philippines

Polytechnic University of the Philippines

De La Salle Lipa

Malayan Colleges Laguna

Animal rights groups have also asked for donations to help abandoned animals near Taal.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

 

 

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