Government agencies unite to aid Mayon-affected families

Wed | February 21, 2018 | 9:00 AM

Malilipot, Albay – Various government agencies are working together to continuously provide assistance to thousands of families who are still in evacuation centers for over a month now since the sporadic eruptions of Mayon Volcano mid-January.

Government agencies unite to aid Mayon-affected familiesSince January 21, PAGCOR has been feeding over 2,000 evacuees daily due to the Mayon Volcano’s restive activity.

Based on the recent report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Mayon’s restless activity has already affected a total of 23,299 families or 89,514 persons in 61 barangays from the municipalities of Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Daraga, Tabaco, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, and Legazpi City.

According to Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs and Mayon Volcano Crisis Manager Secretary Francis Tolentino, as the Mayon Volcano continuously spews lava and ash plumes, they are projecting that the evacuation situation may last for more 100 days. Hence, the aid from the national government “will be of great help to augment the scarce resources of local municipalities.”

This is what you call concerted effort. TheDepartment of Trade and Industry (DTI) has Diskwento Caravan, theCommission on Elections (COMELEC) conductsstress debriefing, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) set-up a kitchenand the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has feeding program. Napaka-ganda nito kasi template ito sa mga susunod na crisis na haharapin na ang lahat ng government agencies ay may kanya-kanyang function,” he expressed.

Tolentino also acknowledged PAGCOR’s generous efforts in assisting affected families. “Napaka-laking tulong ng PAGCOR dahil nakikita talaga ang pagsasagawa ng feeding program at pagdadala ng pagkain sa mga evacuees. Sa ngayon, sapat yung tulong sa pagkain pati sa gamot na ibinigay ng ahensya,” Tolentino shared.

PAGCOR has been conducting feeding programs for over 2,000 individuals in different evacuation centers since January 21. For almost a month now, the agency has served rice meals to thousands of evacuees in Tabaco, Malilipot, Camalig, Legazpi City, Daraga, Guinobatan, and Sto. Domingo.

PAGCOR’s Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Jimmy Bondoc said the agency’s relief operations team will continue its feeding activity until the lives of displaced folks get back to normal.

Bondoc added that apart from providing immediate relief to affected families, PAGCOR plans to conduct an entertainment caravan for the evacuees. “We know that staying in evacuation center is difficult. We would like to lessen their burden by providing entertainment. We plan to bring our homegrown talents to entertain them,” he shared.

Meanwhile, Malilipot Municipal Mayor Cenon Volante said they appreciate the immediate response of different agencies in addressing the needs of his affected constituents. “Akala ko nag-iisa ang local government pero after ilang days, andiyan na kaagad ang tulong mula sa national government. Kung minsan pumupunta na lang sila dito. At iyon ang nakatulong ng pinaka-malaki sa amin. Kaya alam ko, kayang-kaya naming lagpasan ang pagsubok na ito,” he said.

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