Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Monday urged the government to expedite its assistance to areas and families devastated by the recent calamities that hit the country, saying calamity assistance funds should swiftly reach beneficiaries especially those hit by the recent typhoons.

11122020 ULYSSES ROMERO 14 1024x683 - De Lima urges gov’t to fast-track aid for families severely hit by recent typhoons
Residents experience flood after a flashflood brought by typhoon “Ulysses” at Floodway in Pasig. (Jansen Romero / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

De Lima also urged the government to publicly disclose the remaining balances of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Fund and the President’s Contingent Fund.

The senator said Malacanang should not just be giving “general statements that merely tell the public that there is no more balance, or there is very little left.”

“With less than two months in the implementation of the 2020 budget and billions of pesos left in the President’s Calamity and NDRRMC funds, these must swiftly reach the affected areas,” De Lima said.

“We have every right to demand for accountability from this government, especially from the one who promised in 2016 that he would lay down his life for his fellow Filipinos. Dismissing our calls as mere bashing by the opposition is not just ineptitude, it is neglect at its gravest,” she added.

The detained senator, who hails from Iriga, Camarines Sur, Bicol has done her fair share of helping distribute relief goods in Camarines Sur and Naga City in cooperation with the Office of Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. and Bunyog Pagkakaisa in Tabaco City, Malilipot, Tiwi, Sto. Domingo, Guinobatan, Legazpi City and Daraga through Farther Together and other civic groups based in Albay; in Iriga City through the office of Mayor Adelaine Alfelo; in Buhi, Camarines Sur through the Office of Margarita Aguinillo; in Sorsogon through the Office of Gov. Chiz Escudero; in Catanduanes through Bishop Manolo delos Santos of the Diocese of Virac and citizens of Bato, Catanduanes.

De Lima’s camp is also now coordinating with other organizations and institutions in facilitating relief operations to victims of typhoon Ulysses, particularly in Marikina, Navotas, Cagayan, and Isabela.

The senator had earlier scored the Duterte administration for slashing the country’s calamity funds year after year and defunding the Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, which is very crucial to disaster mitigation and response.

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