COA reminds LGUs on usage of calamity funds

The RDRRMC Bicol awards the winners of Gawad Kalasag: Search for Excellence in DRRM at Casablanca Hotel, Legazpi City earlier this month. (Photo by Casandra Balala)

LEGAZPI CITY—The Commission on Audit (COA) in Bicol reminded the local government units (LGUs) to use their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Funds (LDRRMF) in accordance with their LDRRM plans.

State auditor Mario Aguilar disclosed that some LGUs have no integrated and comprehensive LDRRM plan, something which affects the utilization of LDRRMF.

Under Section 21 of RA 10121, the LDRRM Council shall monitor and evaluate the use and disbursement of the LDRRMF based on the LDRRM plan as incorporated in the local development plans.

The law also says that the LDRRMF, formerly known as calamity fund, should not be less than five percent of the estimated revenue from the regular sources of LGUs.

This fund will support the LDRRM activities including pre-disaster preparedness, trainings, purchasing of life-saving rescue equipment, supplies and medicines, post-disaster activities, payment of premiums on calamity insurance and others.

On the appropriated LDRRMF, Aguilar explained that 30 percent should be allocated as the Quick Response Fund or the stand-by fund for the relief and recovery programs intended to the communities stricken by the calamity.

The 70 percent will be allotted for the disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation and recovery.

It can also be utilized to procure early warning systems, preparedness equipment and other equipage for floods, earthquake, landslides, volcanic eruptions and other natural or man-made calamities.

Aguilar emphasized that to make an efficient disaster preparedness, LGUs should have a functioning LDRRM Council, permanent LDRRM officer and comprehensive LDRRM plan.

Aguilar also reiterated the lifting of their state of calamity declaration since some LGUs also forgot to make a resolution lifting the declaration in their area. (PIA-5)