SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Senatorial bet Francis “Chiz” Escudero has vowed to work for a P20-billion fund for the rehabilitation of the areas affected by Typhoon Odette if elected in the upcoming May elections.
Escudero, a former Senator who is presently Sorsogon governor, said he wants to be a “Champion of the Local Government Units (LGUs)” by giving priority to their needs.
“Typhoon Odette had affected 3.2 million Filipinos just like in Typhoon Yolanda. Congress was then quick to act for the rehabilitation unlike in Odette,” he noted.
Escudero said that based on his inquiries with other local chief executives, he learned that most had not yet received assistance from the national government, hence he intends to prioritize the rehabilitation fund for affected families.
He said the rehabilitation fund will be downloaded directly to the LGUs as they “know best” the needs of their constituents.
He also vowed to help increase the allocation in agriculture since the Philippines is an agricultural country.
The national government has allocated more funds for infrastructure projects than for agriculture unlike in Thailand and Vietnam, which are rice exporting countries, he added.
“The Department of Agriculture (DA) has only P80-billion fund as compared with the P840-billion fund outlay for the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH),” noting that there are only 1.6 million hectares of irrigated rice areas despite the increased Filipino population. (PNA)