Monday, December 31, 2018

FEATURE | What are the effects of a declaration of state of calamity?


NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)--The catastrophic effects of 'Usman' has prompted local leaders in Camarines Sur, Albay, Camarines Norte, and Sorsogon to declare a state of calamity to mitigate the effects of the disaster and stabilize the situation in the disaster-stricken areas.

Upon the declaration of a state of calamity, the law provides that following remedial measures may be undertaken by the concerned national agencies or local governments:

a. Automatic imposition of price control. Monitoring, prevention and control of overpricing/profiteering and hoarding of prime commodities, medicines and petroleum product by the Local Price Coordination Council; (see 1 of R.A. 7851)

b. Programming/reprogramming funds for the repair and safety-upgrading of public infrastructure and facilities;

c. Allowing the granting or restructuring of loans by government financing or lending institution to bonafide victims of the disaster in accordance with their respective charters.

The same deferment or moratorium shall be granted to corporate borrowers of aforesaid government credit institutions whose operations are seriously impaired by the calamity.

d. Release of national calamity funds to agencies involved in relief operations and rehabilitation and restoration of damaged infrastructures as well as to affected LGUs.

e. Release of Local Calamity Funds within the affected LGU or other areas affected by a disaster or calamity for relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other works or services.

Under Section 19 of REPUBLIC ACT No. 10121, when there is a State of Calamity, any person, group or corporation who commits any of the following prohibited acts shall be held liable and be subjected to the penalties as prescribed in Section 20 of this Act:

(a) Dereliction of duties which leads to destruction, loss of lives, critical damage of facilities and misuse of funds;

(b) Preventing the entry and distribution of relief goods in disaster-stricken areas, including appropriate technology, tools, equipment, accessories, disaster teams/experts;

(c) Buying, for consumption or resale, from disaster relief agencies any relief goods, equipment or other and commodities which are intended for distribution to disaster affected communities;

(d) Buying, for consumption or resale, from the recipient disaster affected persons any relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities received by them;

(e) Selling of relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities which are intended for distribution to disaster victims;

(f) Forcibly seizing relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities intended for or consigned to a specific group of victims or relief agency;

(g) Diverting or misdelivery of relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities to persons other than the rightful recipient or consignee;

(h) Accepting, possessing, using or disposing relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities not intended for nor consigned to him/her;

(i) Misrepresenting the source of relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities by:

(1) Either covering, replacing or defacing the labels of the containers to make it appear that the goods, equipment or other aid commodities came from another agency or persons;

(2) Repacking the! goods, equipment or other aid commodities into containers with different markings to make it appear that the goods came from another agency or persons or was released upon the instance of a particular agency or persons;

(3) Making false verbal claim that the goods, equipment or other and commodity m its untampered original containers actually came from another agency or persons or was released upon the instance of a particular agency or persons;

(j) Substituting or replacing relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities with the same items or inferior/cheaper quality;

(k) Illegal solicitations by persons or organizations representing others as defined in the standards and guidelines set by the NDRRMC;

(l) Deliberate use of false at inflated data in support of the request for funding, relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities for emergency assistance or livelihood projects; and

(m) Tampering with or stealing hazard monitoring and disaster preparedness equipment and paraphernalia.
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