Opening Statement of Senator Loren Legarda
Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures (JCOCPE)
20 February 2017, Recto and Laurel Rooms, Senate of the Philippines
Good morning and welcome to today’s organizational meeting and committee hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures on the utilization of the Quick Response Funds for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and by the Office of Civil Defense.
A December 2016 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has taken note that there has been a remarkable increase in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (formerly known as the Calamity Fund) and the Quick Response Fund (QRF) from 2009 to 2016. The NDRRM Fund rose by almost nine times from only PhP 4.4-Billion in 2009 to PhP 38.9-Billion in 2016. QRF allocations mirrored the same trend as it grew from only PhP 653-Million in 2009 to around PhP 6.2-Billion in 2016.
To ensure the quick release of government funds for the immediate normalization of living conditions among affected communities, the QRFs, since 2012, have been released directly to various executive departments under the annual General Appropriations Act.
As one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world with a total of 130 million affected people over the past twenty (20) years according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, it is imperative that all concerned agencies utilize their existing resources immediately and efficiently to enable devastated communities to bounce back and build back better in the shortest time possible.***
 Philippine Institute for Development Studies (December 2016) An Assessment of the Sectoral and Institutional Implementation of the NDRRMP http://dirp3.pids.gov.ph/websitecms/CDN/PUBLICATIONS/pidsdps1649.pdf