Presidential bet Leody De Guzman urged President Rodrigo Duterte to hasten measures to help victims of typhoon “Odette.”
De Guzman, Partido Lakas ng Masa standard-bearer was reacting to reports quoting Duterte as saying that government funds had been depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte, in several reports, said his administration was “trying to raise money” and that the national budget was “depleted” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
De Guzman further said the chief executive should “stop the charade” and the “drama” and should instead focus on helping typhoon victims.
The candidate said the government should now focus on helping the Visayas and Mindanao regions
According to the labor leader, there were billions of pesos in unused calamity funds from the 2021 budget. This budget, he said, was then justified as a “stand-by fund” for emergencies such as calamities, epidemics, crises, and catastrophes.
De Guzman also quoted the Office of Civil Defense which earlier showed that a fund of P12 billion is still available for the government to use. This fund, he said, is also for emergencies.
De Guzman also assailed the government, citing that Duterte’s administration does not seem to be prepared for disaster response.
He noted that Duterte used to criticize the previous government for apparently not being ready to deal with catastrophes, including typhoon Yolanda which also devastated the country in 2013.