Duterte urges Congress to expedite Taal budget

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Duterte urges Congress to expedite Taal budget

Alexis Romero, Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) – January 21, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday urged Congress to speed up the passage of a P30-billion supplemental budget for areas affected by Taal Volcano’s continuing unrest.

Duterte said the supplemental budget would be used to provide assistance and livelihood to displaced residents.

“The budget for next year is being prepared now, this year. This incident was not considered in the budgeting. We did not expect it to erupt. We might have a supplemental budget from Congress,” the President said during the ceremonial distribution of assistance to evacuees in Batangas.

“It would be good if Congress can provide the money together with… your assistance. They have estimates. I think it was Congressman (Luis Raymund) Villafuerte (Jr.) who made the… It’s about P30 billion,” he added.

The Chief Executive said Congress may also raise the amount to P50 billion so that the government can build evacuation centers in areas facing the Pacific Ocean like Isabela, Cagayan and Samar.

“In the meantime that we are expecting another eruption, it would be good if we start building the evacuation center(s),” he said. “But anyway, everybody is eager to help. The government is eager to help, especially now.”

The President provided P5 million each to nine affected areas, including Lipa City, Agoncillo, Tanauan, Mabini, Batangas City, San Luis, Sto. Tomas and San Jose.