The government is set to put forward its “plan B” to assist victims of the rainy season’s devastating floods after the Constitutional Court rejected an extension to the flood emergency decree, El Espectador reported Tuesday.
A statement from the Casa de Nariño read, “The government abides by and respects the decision that the Honorable Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional Decree 020, 2011, by which the State of Economic, Social and Ecological Emergency was decreed for a second time.”
The government stated its belief that this ruling could seriously harm humanitarian assistance plans for the victims and obstruct reconstruction efforts in affected areas. Therefore, on Wednesday it will submit before Congress an emergency bill requesting the addition of $3.02 billion to the current budget in an effort to obtain the resources necessary to address the disaster in 2011.
The Court declared earlier on Tuesday that all decrees issued after January 7, 2011, in relation to the floods will lose legal effect, thus damaging assistance efforts for last year’s crisis and the relief framework for any potential disasters this year.
On Saturday, President Juan Manuel Santos warned Colombians to prepare for more heavy rains and possible floods, stating, “unfortunately the La Niña phenomenon is still present, alive and well.”