Kidapawan eyes P15.5-M aid for residents affected by community quarantine

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 26 March) – The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has asked the city council to grant Mayor Joseph Evangelista the authority to use at least P15.5 million from the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and other sources for relief assistance to marginalized sectors affected by the community quarantine being implemented in the city since March 23 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

City DRRM officer Psalmer Bernalte said that in a meeting with Evangelista, who chairs the body, they agreed to re-program appropriations from the 70 percent of the LDRRM Fund for 2020.

Of the P15.5 million, P8.6 million will come from the unused 30-percent Quick Response Fund in 2019.

Bernalte said the P8.6 million was cited in the first of two resolutions the CDRRMC submitted on Thursday to the city council for its approval.

The second resolution involved the realignment of some funds, including P4.5 million, which was originally appropriated for the purchase of additional rescue vehicles for the Kidapawan Emergency Call 911.

Some P2.5 million intended for the construction of an overhead water tank in Barangay Balabag, one of the villages in the city hit hard by earthquakes in October last year, will also be realigned for emergency disaster relief operations.

Bernalte said using the amount of P15.5 million to purchase relief items for residents affected by the community quarantine will help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The distribution of relief goods will prioritize the tricycle drivers, ambulant vendors and daily wage earners who were laid off from after the city government ordered the closure of the establishments where they worked.

Bernalte said they are hopeful the city council will approve the release of the funds.

“I know the Sanggunian knows the need to distribute the food items to affected sectors. I know this amount is too small but at least, we have done something for our constituents,” he said.

The P15.5 million is apart from the P6.5 million approved last week by the city council for the purchase of personal protective equipment, thermal scanners, face masks, alcohol, sanitizers, chlorine granules and other disinfectants.

The procurement of these equipment and materials is ongoing, Bernalte said. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)