Gov't allots ₱352M for 'Betty' response

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Some residents living by the river in Barangay Lanao in Bangui, Ilocos Norte were evacuated as precaution against possible heavy rainfall and rise in the river’s water level.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has on standby around ₱352 million to aid localities, disaster management officials said, as Typhoon Betty (international name: Mawar) barrels over waters near northern Philippines this week.

The budget comes from OCD's standby Quick Response Fund (QRF) of ₱244.7 million, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Sunday.

Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, Civil Defense administrator and NDRRMC executive director, said the OCD also has ₱108.2 million worth of prepositioned non-food items.

"All these are ready for distribution to assist the affected communities," Nepomuceno said. "Other resources of the government are also on standby including our equipment for emergency telecommunications, transportation assets, among others."

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has a total of ₱2.2 billion for stockpile and standby funds.

According to the Department of Budget, the latest adjusted balance of the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund is at ₱18 billion.

The NDDRMF, or the calamity fund, is set for aid and rehabilitation of calamity-hit communities.

NDRRMC also said around 1,679 teams from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on standby for search, rescue and retrieval operations.

Disaster management officials have also activated emergency preparedness and response protocols for affected areas.

Batanes, the eastern part of Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan were placed under Signal No. 2 on Monday morning.

READ: Signal No. 2 raised over Batanes, eastern portion Babuyan Islands, northeastern portion of Cagayan due to 'Betty'

Signal No. 1 was hoisted over the rest of Babuyan Islands, the rest of mainland Cagayan, and 14 more Luzon areas.

Betty, which is not expected to make landfall, is set to move slower or be almost stationary from Tuesday to mid-Wednesday while over the waters east of Batanes. It is forecast to leave the country's weather monitoring area by Friday.