MANILA, Oct 31 (Mabuhay) — House Speaker Martin Romualdez called for a comprehensive assessment of the damage and destruction caused by Tropical Storm Paeng in several parts of the country.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez with DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. (MNS photo)

There is also a possibility of making adjustments in the proposed PHP5.268-trillion national budget for next year to fund the needs of affected areas, Romualdez said in a statement on Sunday.

“Asahan po ninyo na gagawin namin ang lahat para makabangon muli ang ang mga kababayan natin mula sa panibagong hamong ito na hinaharap natin ngayon (You can be assured that we will do everything to help affected Filipinos recover from this disaster),” Romualdez said.

He expressed support for the recommendation by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to declare a national state of calamity to better address the effects of the latest storm.

He said reports reaching his office showed that “almost all regions in the country were affected by the onslaught of Paeng, which destroyed bridges, roads and key infrastructure, and wrought havoc to life and property.”

“I have requested my fellow members of the House of Representatives to help the executive departments and agencies assess the damage caused by Paeng and assist in relief operations in their respective districts,” Romualdez added.

He asked the Appropriations Committee, led by chair and Ako Bicol Rep. Zaldy Co, to compile the damage assessment from House members and executive offices “so that they may aid us in reviewing possible adjustments in budget allocation for repair and rehabilitation of affected areas under the proposed 2023 General Appropriations Act.”

The House has passed the proposed budget for next year while the Senate is set to tackle it shortly when Congress resumes on November 7.

House members are focused on “relief operations to alleviate the suffering of our fellowmen and to deliver aid as soon as possible to those in need” and have launched a relief drive. (MNS)