Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR provides immediate aid to Bicolanos affected by Mayon’s fury

Fri | January 26, 2018 | 8:30 AM

DARAGA, Albay – The restive volcanic activity of Mt. Mayon – which has been spewing ash and lava for several days now – has affected thousands of families here including Servando Loria, a farmer who lost his source of livelihood in a snap.

PAGCOR provides immediate aid to Bicolanos affected by Mayon’s furyPAGCOR served meals to almost 5,000 affected families in several evacuation centers in Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Daraga, Camalig and Ligao.

PAGCOR provides immediate aid to Bicolanos affected by Mayon’s furyFarmer Servando Loria, his wife and six children fled their home in Mi-isi, a barangay located inside the six-kilometer permanent danger zone in Daraga, Albay due to Mayon’s restive volcanic activity. They are among the families who are temporarily housed in Upper Malabog Elementary School.<

His three-hectare vegetable farm was destroyed by the ashes spewed by Mayon Volcano, causing him around P100,000 in losses. His misfortunes further worsened when he and his family fled their home in Mi-isi, a barangay located within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone. They are now temporarily staying in Upper Malabog Elementary School in Daraga, Albay.

Despite his dire situation, Loria, a father of six, looks forward to a new start after the catastrophe. Being a survivor during the February 1993 Mayon eruption where many of his fellow farmers died, he is grateful to have found a safer place to stay while Mayon’s eruption threat persists. Even if they are outside the comforts of their homes, they receive aid from the local and national government.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was one of the government agencies which provided immediate assistance to Loria and thousands of affected families in several evacuation centers in Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Daraga, Camalig and Ligao.

In a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC),  the continuing unrest of the Mayon Volcano has so far affected 21, 733 families in Albay.

“Ikinatutuwa namin na may relief operations ang PAGCOR at nabigyan kami ng libreng pagkain na hindi na namin kailangan lutuin o bilhin. Napaka-laking blessing nito dahil nabawasan and aming gastusin,” Loria expressed.

Since January 21, 2018, PAGCOR has deployed a relief operations team to serve hot meals to affected locals who were staying in various evacuation sites in Bical National High School in Sto. Domingo, San Jose Elementary School in Malilipot, Upper Malabog Elementary School and Anislag Relocation site in Daraga, Cotmon National High School in Camalig and Ligao West Central School in Ligao.

Apart from the provision of meals, PAGCOR donated emergency medical kits, towelettes, gas masks, water containers, plastic pails, tents and fortified rice packs to the Albay Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO).

PAGCOR’s Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Jimmy Bondoc, who led the agency’s relief operations in Albay said the agency had already fed almost 5,000 individuals from various evacuation sites as of January 25.  “Hindi maiiwasan ang pagdating ng sakuna pero laging tutulong ang PAGCOR at ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno sa taong bayan,” Bondoc said.

Meanwhile, DSWD-Albay Officer-in-Charge Eva Grageda said more than 36,000 individuals residing within the eight-kilometer expanded danger zone were already evacuated as Mayon Volcano was placed on alert level 4 (meaning hazardous eruption imminent) on January 22.

According to Grageda, the local government has been assisting the affected residents since they were evacuated. But with such huge number of evacuees that might continue to increase in the coming days, they need to augment their supply of resources.

“Since it is just the start of the year, our funding is not sufficient to satisfy the needs of all the evacuees. We are thankful to the donors especially the meals sponsored by PAGCOR. Also, the gas masks donated by the agency will be distributed to the locals in Camalig and Guinobatan, which were greatly affected by ashfall,” Grageda said.

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