Eastern Visayas to get last IRA for 2013 a week early
MANILA, Philippines – In order to facilitate relief and rehabilitation activities in Eastern Visayas after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the budget department has promised to release the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares of local government units (LGUs) in the worst-hit region one week ahead of schedule.
The provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays in Region VIII are expecting to receive a combined P1.57 billion in IRA for December.
In a press release on Friday, November 22, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the LGUs' IRA shares will be released "by the end of the month."
Every month, 80% of the IRA released before or on the 8th day, while the remaining 20% is released on the 24th day.
The LGUs' shares for November, another P1.57 billion, had been released.
Rehab next year
“The extraordinary tragedy that Yolanda left in her wake has put many of our affected LGUs in a very difficult position, especially with respect to restoring the delivery of key goods and services to their constituents. We are therefore facilitating the early release of funds representing the December IRA shares of Region VIII," DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Eastern Visayas is composed of 5 provinces: Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte, and Southern Leyte,
With the extent of damage brought by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the country is struggling to put a finger on the budgetary implications of the disaster. Damage on crops and infrastructure has already reached P12.65 billion. (Read: PH struggles with funds after Haiyan)
The more costly rehabilitation requirements will be addressed next fiscal year, Abad said.
“Our DBM Regional Offices (DRM-ROs) are working ‘round the clock to facilitate the swift release of IRA shares to other regions affected by Yolanda, despite difficulties in communications and operations in the area,” Abad said.
"At the same time, the DBM continues to work with other agencies on ensuring the continuous provision of quick assistance and relief operations to LGUs affected by the typhoon,” the budget chief added.
Abad said Region VI (Western Visayas) and Region VII (Central Visayas) have received their November IRA shares of P1.79 billion and P2.5 billion, respectively.
Other funds available
Aside from the IRA releases to typhoon-stricken areas, a lump sum of P26.84 billion will be made available by the national government for rehabilitation and relief efforts.
The government said the requirements will be sourced from:
- Government savings – P12.58 billion
- Quick Relief Fund (QRF) of agencies – P4.19 billion
- President’s Social Fund (PSF) – P6.4 billion
- Contingency funds – P824 million
- Calamity funds – P1.28 billion
However, Malacañang said it has yet to study the full budget implications of the Supreme Court decision that says, among other things, that the PSF can no longer be used for infrastructure projects made without legal basis. – Raisa Serafica/Rappler.com