In Araceli town in northern Palawan, homes destroyed by Odette can be seen along the shores.

The government is set to release before the year ends a total of P6 billion for victims of Typhoon Odette, according to Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Acting Secretary Tina Rose Canda.

Citing the directives of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Canda said P1 billion has been released to the local government units (LGUs) of typhoon-affected areas last Friday, while another P1 billion was released Monday.

“Tapos maglalabas din kami bago matapos ang taon ng apat na bilyon pang ayuda para sa mga local government units na ipapahatid naman nila sa mga mamamayang naapektuhan ng bagyong Odette,” she said during the Laging Handa briefing aired over PTV4 on Monday.

Canda said areas that have been placed under the state of calamity due to Typhoon Odette, which authorities said is the strongest so far to hit the country this year, will immediately receive the cash aid.

These areas include Regions IV-B (Mimaropa), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao), and 13 (Caraga).

Canda said the funds will be sourced from a quick response fund and not the calamity fund since the latter needs reporting requirements that will hamper the immediate release of the budget.

She said government agencies and departments have quick response funds but since these funds have limits, the DBM augments these once they reach a certain level.

The P2 billion that have been released so far came from the contingent funds of the Office of the President, while another P2 billion will come from a quick response fund, she added.

The President earlier committed to raise P10 billion for the provinces hit by “Odette”.

Funds that are yet to be released will be sourced from the P5.034-trillion 2022 national budget, which is expected to be signed on December 28.

If the proposed national budget for next year will be signed before the year ends, Canda said the funds committed as an aid for the typhoon victims can be released on Jan. 3, 2022, the first Monday of next year.

However, Canda said that if the proposed national budget for next year is not signed before the year ends, there will only be an adjustment, but the funds will be available because the Philippines has a rule regarding the re-enactment of the budget. (PNA)

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