(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 19 April 2021) At 3:00 AM today, the center of the eye of Typhoon "BISING" {SURIGAE} was located based on all available data at 250 km East of Virac, Catanduanes (14.0°N, 126.5°E) with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 240 km/h. It is moving North Northwestward at 10 km/h. Caraga Region will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm due to TY Bising. Possible flash floods or landslides during moderate to heavy rains. Light to moderate winds from Northwest to Southwest will prevail over the region with slight to moderate seas/ (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, January 14, 2021

NDRRMC: LGUs MAY PROCURE COVID-19 VACCINE

MANILA - Citing the documentary bases on emergency responses, an official of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) believes that the local government units may be allowed to utilize their local Quick Response Funds (QRF) to procure vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), provided that such inoculants are approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA).

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has previously said that he would leave it to the NDRRMC to determine whether or not local governments could use their 30% QRF to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

In an interview on Thursday, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said that three legal documents are already in place supporting decisions of LGUs to do so, including the Republic Act 10121.

“Sa legal basis na paggamit ng QRF as provided for by RA 10121, sinasabi diyan na ang Quick Response Fund ay standby fund for relief and recovery programs, in order that situations and living condition of people in communities and areas stricken by disaster, calamities, epidemics, or complex emergencies maybe normalized as quickly as possible [On the legal basis on the use of QRF as provided for by RA 10121, it is stated there that the Quick Response Fund is a standby fund for relief and recovery programs, in order that situations and living condition of people in communities and areas stricken by disaster, calamities, epidemics, or complex emergencies maybe normalized as quickly as possible ],” he said during the Network Briefing News with host Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

A joint memorandum circular 2013-1 between the NDRRMC, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) dated March 25, 2013, may also serve as basis as it granted LGUs greater flexibility towards disaster mitigation, preparation, response, rehabilitation, and recovery.

He added that the signed Proclamation No. 1021 last September  16, 2020 may warrant the use of Local  Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund to continue utilizing appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations.

“Sa palagay ko in agreement naman tayo na ang pagbili ng bakuna ay makakatulong sa atin sa pag-contain ng spread ng COVID-19 virus so pwedeng-pwede na 'yun na gamitin 'yung Quick Response Fund [I believe we are in an agreement that the purchase of vaccine will help in containing the spread of COVID-19, so we can use the Quick Response Fund],” he said.

Maasin, Southern Leyte Mayor Nacional Mercado, who was also a guest on the same program, said that their purchase of vaccines for their constituents would be a great help especially for those who were not included under the priority list of Filipinos to be immunized.

“Malaking tulong na ma-utilize ng kanya-kanyang LGU ang kanilang QRF for possible procurement of vaccine for our constituents [It will be a big help for LGUs to utilize their QRF for possible procurement of vaccine for our constituents],” he said.

On Thursday, the FDA approved for emergency use the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.