On natural disaster preparation
ON top of the insurance fund, the Department of Finance (DoF) is also urged to allocate funding on the efforts of many local government units (LGUs) in preparing the people to possible natural disaster like the strong earthquake.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas has lauded the DoF for the allocation of P1-billion insurance fund available to the 25 disaster-prone provinces.
However, Vargas said the government should also finance the preparedness program being implemented by the LGUs in mitigating the impact of the natural disaster that include typhoons and tropical cyclones.
“This is a good start to insure provinces of enough assistance. But may we suggest to DoF to include also the preparation for the worst not to happen, by funding efforts to prepare the people in avoiding disaster and calamities,” Vargas said.
The solon proposed to DoF, if possible, to prioritize the construction of public infrastructures such as rainwater impounding ponds and elevated and strengthened river walls that can prevent flooding.
Vargas also suggested to the DoF to consider allocation of funds for the construction of medium-rise evacuation and disaster management centers.
More importantly, Vargas said, the government should fund the relocation of informal settlers families (ISF) living in danger-zones to a more habitable housing complex with township component.
“A joint effort is needed to ensure the country can be disaster resilient,” Vargas said.
Just recently, the DoF announced the P1-billion Parametric Insurance Pilot project which main purpose is to enable 25 disaster-prone provinces to act faster and better respond to the devastating impact of natural calamities.
According to DoF Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Paola Alvarez, program will provide typhoon and earthquake insurance support in the 25 provinces, including the typhoon-vulnerable provinces of Batanes and Albay and the quake-hit province of Leyte.
“Unlike the traditional indemnity insurance that takes a long time to assess and process, this Parametric Insurance Pilot will have quick-disbursing payouts whose amounts will depend on the estimated loss triggers determined through the Philippines’ Catastrophic Risk Model developed by the DOF in 2014,” Alvarez said.
With assistance from the World Bank, the project covers 25 provinces of Aurora, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Laguna, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal, Sorsogon, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Zambales.
The premium payments will be finances through National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) Fund allocation earmarked for the insurance of government facilities.
For disaster-specific premiums, P500 million of the fund will be allocated divided into 79.2 percent for typhoons and 20.8 percent for earthquakes. The other P500 million will be province-specific and split equally among the 25 provinces at P20 million each.
It can be recalled that Vargas is calling all the government units and the entire public, especially those living along the Fault Line to seriously prepare and not just wait to the Big One to happen.
Vargas underscored the need for the government and the people to be prepared for the expected magnitude 7.2 earthquake to be generated by the West Valley Fault which is ripe for movement.
-News Release 21 August 17