NHA has sufficient 'calamity' funds - Palace
MANILA - Malacanang said the National Housing Authority (NHA) has sufficient funds to assist calamity victims.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said the NHA has P620.9 million in funds in its 2013 budget that can provide emergency housing to calamity victims.
He said agencies have quick response funds that they can tap, which does not require Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) from the budget department.
"Ayon po sa General Appropriations Act of 2013, meron pong item doon 'emergency housing' under the NHA budget, emergency housing assistance for calamity victims, P620.9 million. Iyon po ang nakasaad sa General Appropriations Act pero katulad po ng sinabi ko kanina, kailangan po nating liwanagin din kung ano ang naging batayan or 'yung context noong sinabi ni Senator Binay,” he said.
Binay earlier expressed alarm over the back-to-back "zero" budget items given by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the National Housing Authority’s (NHA) in the proposed 2014 national budget, which she said essentially crippled the latter's emergency housing and resettlement capabilities.
"I am not contesting what she said but I want to understand the context. And in reply to your question or to your statement na zero budget, hindi po zero dahil meron pong P620.9 million na assistance for calamity victims, emergency housing assistance for calamity victims," Coloma said.
In times of calamities, Coloma said the DSWD leads efforts to provide relief to victims along with the efforts of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The NHA, Coloma added, leads efforts in building permanent housing.
"Hindi po natin mini-minimize iyong role ng NHA o ng housing sector. But we have to understand, iyon pong kani-kaniyang pag-a-allocate ng responsibility under our government structure," Coloma said.