By Oliver T. Baccay
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Oct. 24 (PIA) - - Batanes Governor Marilou H. Cayco said there were already 104 houses restored out of 268 that were totally damaged during the twin earthquakes that jolted Itbayat town in July.
Cayco said the rehabilitation of the remaining 164 houses assessed as totally destroyed is underway.
The governor also said the recovery and rehabilitation is very fast, however their concern is the delivery of construction materials due to inclement weather conditions and the absence of a seaport in the island town which will facilitate the unloading of materials.
However, Cayco expressed her gratitude to the overwhelming support of different government agencies as well as civil society organizations by donating cash and other items needed for the immediate recovery of the Ivatans in Itbayat Island.
“I did not expect that there are many agencies and groups that showed concern to us. We really thank you for your generosity,” Cayco said.
Recently, the governor personally received P1.3 million cash assistance from the Philippine National Police region 2 for the rehabilitation of the damages caused by the earthquake and as assistance to PNP personnel from Itbayat.
Also, the governor said the Provincial Government of Batanes inked a memorandum of agreement with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the release of the P10 million cash assistance from China government and another agreement with the Department of Health for the release of the P50 million fund to construct a brand new hospital in Batanes.
“These are aside from the cash assistances which were already distributed by the DSWD and NHA to the victims. There were also other donations from private groups and firms,” Cayco said.
With the assistances that they received, she said, they will be giving P20,000.00 each to the bereaved families; P10,000.00 each for those injured; P15,000.00 each for those with partially damaged houses; P5,000.00 for those with minor damages in their houses; and the rest will be added for the rehabilitation of totally damaged houses.
“We are very thankful that President Duterte visited our place and he promised to construct the hospital, improve the runway of the Itbayat airport and construct seaport in the said island,” Cayco said.
As of now, Cayco said the Ivatans in the island are already in normal condition, however, they still experience aftershocks. (ALM/MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)