Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Over 50,000 evacuees benefit from PAGCOR’s relief operations in Albay

Thu | Mar. 8, 2018 | 1:00 PM

More than one month after Mayon Volcano’s eruptions, the number of evacuees in Albay aided by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR’s) continuous relief operations has reached thousands.

Over 50,000 evacuees benefit from PAGCOR’s relief operations in AlbayAs most public classrooms in Albay are being used as evacuation centers, many students hold classes in tents.

Over 50,000 evacuees benefit from PAGCOR’s relief operations in AlbayPAGCOR’s schoolbuildings in Bantayan National High School in Tabaco, Albay are being used as an evacuation center and a learning venue.

From January 21 to March 1, PAGCOR served hot meals to over 10,000 families or more than 50,000 individuals in evacuation centers in Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Daraga, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo, and Legazpi City.

Annaliza Botor, 38, was one of the evacuees who benefited from PAGCOR’s relief operations. Annaliza and her family, who are residents of Buhian in Tabaco, Albay which is located within the six-kilometer danger zone, literally live at the foot of Mayon.

As the volcano continues to spew ash and lava, they could not go back to their farms, which they rely on for livelihood. With no stable source of income, Annaliza considers the meals provided by PAGCOR a great blessing. But more than the hot meals, her family was also thankful for the safe evacuation center at the Bantayan National High School (BNHS) in Tabaco, Albay. The Botors, along with other 513 evacuees, temporarily fit themselves in the schoolbuildings which were donated by PAGCOR to BNHS in 2016.

According to the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 90,742 individuals or 23,705 families have been affected by Mayon’s volcanic activities.

To further help the provincial government address the needs of its constituents, PAGCOR donated P35 million to the province last February 21, 2018.

Of the P35 million donation, P17 million was turned over to the Provincial Government for the construction of permanent evacuation centers, establishment of resettlement sites for locals in hazard-prone areas, and construction of temporary learning shelters and toilets for affected students. The amount will also be used for the purchase of the evacuees’ food, potable water, medicines, tents, among other expenses such as fuel, transportation costs, water and electricity.

Meanwhile, the remaining P18 million was allocated for the municipalities of Sto. Domingo (P2.5M), Malilipot (P2M), Bacacay (P1M), Tabaco City (P2M), Legazpi City (P1M), Daraga (P2.5M), Camalig (P2.5M), Guinobatan (P2.5M) and Ligao (P2M). The financial assistance will be used for the acquisition of food and non-food items for the residents who are still in evacuation centers.

On top of these donations, PAGCOR earlier distributed relief packs to more than 4,000 families from various evacuation centers in the province. The agency also donated other basic necessities such as multi-purpose tents, gas masks, packs of emergency medical kits, blankets and mosquito nets, plastic water pails, water containers with faucets, mats, hand towels and pieces of toothbrush.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Eva Grageda said PAGCOR’s donations to the Albayanons will go a long way. “Nagpapasalamat pong muli ang Province of Albay sa inilaan ninyong P17 milyon aside from the millions donated to different municipalities and cities affected by Mt. Mayon’s eruption. This amount will help jumpstart our rehabilitation programs for the affected families,” she said.

Reynaldo Nonale, a teacher at Don Juan Garcia Elementary School (DJGES) in Guinobatan, who also acts as the Camp Chief at DJGES evacuation site, underscored the importance of having permanent relocation and evacuation centers where affected families can reside in times of calamities.

According to Nonale, although evacuees are welcome in their school, a relocation site with better living conditions will be of great help to the evacuees. Fortunately, his dream will soon come into fruition following PAGCOR’s financial aid to the provincial government of Albay.

Meanwhile, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo said that as a strong partner of the government in nation-building, she will ensure that the agency will extend support not only to its mandated beneficiaries but also to Filipinos in dire situations.

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