National government pours in Php137.8M Mayon-related financial aid to Albay

By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 2 (PNA) -– The national government has poured in a total of Php137.8 million financial assistance to Albay province in connection with threat of Mayon eruption, which prompted the provincial government to evacuate over 54,000 individuals to safe temporary shelter camps.

Areas evacuated are covered by the cities of Ligao and Tabaco and the municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Sto. Domingo and Malilipot.

Governor Joey Sarte Salceda stressed the important role of the national government in the target of the provincial government to attain zero casualty in times of emergency like an eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

The first financial assistance of the national government amounted to Php44 million, which was augmented by another Php93.8 million financial assistance to meet the growing requirements of the 54,000 evacuees and students in 45 evacuation centers in the affected two cities and five towns.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also gave Php40.4 million for food and other non-rice items.

Some Php30 million was shelled out by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for non-food items.

The Department of Education (DepEd) allotted Php23 million for classrooms and chairs while the Department of Health (DOH) appropriated Php500,000 for the repairs of comfort rooms.

OCD Bicol Regional Director Raffy Alejandro said the purchases from these amounts were covered by government procurement procedures under a state of calamity.

Alejandro said the first financial assistance of Php44 million included the Php29 million DSWD funding for rice supply to more than 11,000 evacuated families for 17 days and Php6.6 million for the 10,600 starter kits, mats and blankets.

The DOH also gave Php1.5 million for health safeguards like dust masks, he added.

The OCD also earlier released Php1.5 million for non-food items.

For its part, the Armed Forces of the Philippines gave Php500,000-worth of food and three water filtration machines.

Doctors from the Southern Luzon Command also conducted a one-week medical mission for the evacuees.

The AFP also made available 30 military trucks and 200 men for mobilization during evacuation of affected families and any circumstances where mobility is needed. (PNA)