Saturday, March 13, 2010

Noli urges transparency in use of calamity funds

March 13, 2010, 6:50pm

Original Story:

Vice President Noli de Castro stressed Saturday the need for transparency in using calamity funds in Mindanao to shake off speculations that it will be used as election funds by some politicians.

“Dapat maging transparent ang mga pamahalaan diyan [Local governments should be transparent about this],” De Castro said, referring to the use of calamity funds given to local governments in Mindanao following the declaration of a state of calamity in Mindanao made by President Arroyo last Thursday.

The state of calamity in Mindanao will enable local government units (LGUs) to tap five percent of their calamity funds to help mitigate the problems brought by the power crisis.

The Vice President likewise challenged candidates in the upcoming polls to look into the worsening power situation in Mindanao instead of political bickering.

In his interview with Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) chairman Jesus Dureza, it was learned that the power supply in Mindanao is getting worse as the hydropower plants may be shut down if there will be no rains in the next 30 days. Mindanao is 53 percent reliant on hydroelectric power.

“We’re painting a crisis situation here but there are mitigation efforts being done to help the private sector generate additional [power] capacity,” Dureza said, noting that Mindanao is in need of 700 megawatts in power capacity.

Dureza assured that calamity funds will be used for the power crisis amid speculations from political oppositions.

“We’re addressing an emergency situation here… Kami mismo na taga Mindanao, babantayan namin na matutugunan ang aming problema [We in Mindanao will make sure that this problem will be addressed],” he said.

Original Story:

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