Monday, October 26, 2009

P 12 B Calamity Fund: The tale of two versions.

When Congress resumes session on November 9th, the Bicameral Conference Committee will try to reconcile the House and the Senate versions of Joint Resolution No. 48, setting aside P12 B to augment the already depleted Calamity Fund of the national government.

House version. The P 12 B will be sourced from the Unprogrammed Fund. Said Fund is among the Special Purpose Funds in the yearly GAA. DBM releases the money once the Bureau of Treasury certifies that the revenue back up has been collected. With the collection of our main collecting agencies, the BIR and BoC on a downtrend, that money is illusory. Thus, the House authorized the President to resort to borrowings. This means too that the money is not readily available because the government will have to look for investors for its blond flotation or schedule a series of treasury bill auctions.

Senate version. On the other hand, the Senate identifies the government's share from the Malampaya natural gas project as the funding source for the calamity fund augmentation. It is not clear though if the money is already available that is, the government share from the natural gas extraction has already been sold and the proceeds deposited in the National Treasury.

Time is of the essence considering that more relief operations are needed and massive rehabilitation efforts have yet to be started in areas affected by the typhoons "Ondoy", "Pepeng" and the previous typhoon "Frank".

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