Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas is now challenging the government to immediately raise funds to provide calamity fund assistance and food packs to families affected by Super Typhoon Mawar (international name).
This Friday morning when the typhoon was spotted 1,705 kilometers east of Southeast Luzon, according to the latest PAGASA report. It will be called “Betty” when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility tonight or Saturday morning.
It can be remembered that Super Typhoon Mawar ravaged Guam, a territory left by the storm with almost no electricity or water.
“Preemptive activities are urgent and necessary but advisories are not enough. The national government can make use of a portion of the remaining P18.3-billion Calamity Fund while the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other NGAs can utilize their Quick Response Fund (QRF) allocated to regions to provide farmers and fishers with pre-disaster financial assistance,” said KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.
“Specifically, farmers and fishers in extreme Northern Luzon, Cagayan, Bicol, and several parts of Visayas and Mindanao need assistance where BettyPH will tread based on meteorological forecasts.”
The Marcos government is now wondering why the 2023 calamity fund is already “over half” in this second typhoon of the year. Almost 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, according to PAGASA.
Use P18-B calamity fund aid to farmers before ‘Mawar’ hits — KMP
It was only in May that the Department of Budget and Management said that it still has P21.5 billion remaining in the calamity fund. The calamity fund releases from January to April are said to have reached P1.68 billion.
Local government units first advised rice farmers in Cagayan, which is expected to be hit by heavy rains due to the typhoon, to immediately harvest their maturing crops and use their post-harvest facilities to avoid severe damage.
“Not all farmers have the means to harvest their crops early — they need support and need to get reasonable prices for their crops. In Albay, the latest palay farmgate price is at P17.80 per kilo for fresh palay which farmers harvested early and sold to traders,” said Ramos.
Just a while ago, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that they are always talking to their local counterparts in the LGUs now, especially in Northern Luzon, as the Philippines prepares for strong winds and rain caused by “Mawar.”