GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The provincial government of South Cotabato has allotted some PHP8 million for relief assistance to residents affected by various calamities and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Rolly Doane Aquino, acting head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the funds will be utilized to replenish the province’s relief packs, which were already exhausted as of Friday.
He said the relief goods comprise food supplies and other basic items needed by residents in times of calamities and emergencies.
In the last two months, he said the PDRRMO distributed hundreds of relief packs to families affected by Covid-19 and those displaced by flooding incidents, landslides, and other weather-related disasters that hit the province.
Aquino said the provision for the relief assistance was part of the supplemental funding that they requested last month to the local government and endorsed by the PDRRM Council.
The proposed funding, which is due for final approval by the provincial board, will be taken from their Local DRRM trust fund, he said.
“Hopefully, this will be ironed out by next week so we can go on with our services,” he said in a briefing.
Aside from the purchase of relief goods, he said they are also pushing for the approval of additional funding to augment the province’s response initiatives in line with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
He said it will be sourced from the PHP18.4 million proposed supplemental budget to support the operations of the province’s public hospitals.
The funds will be utilized for the needs of three hospitals in the province that cater to Covid-19 patients, he said.
“We will be buying additional test kits, equipment, and other supplies needed for our Covid-19 response,” Aquino said.
These are the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, Polomolok Municipal Hospital, and the Norala District Hospital.
Aquino said the list previously included the Soccsksargen General Hospital in Surallah town but was modified due to the ongoing transfer of its management to the Department of Health-Region 12. (PNA)