Philippines

Philippines: GMA announces help to typhoon-hit Urdaneta

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URDANETA, Pangasinan - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today disclosed the availability of P15 million to initially build a new public market here, as she also announced that the Department of Agriculture (DA) would disperse some 3 million bangus fry to replace those hit by heavy rains spawned by typhoon Chedeng.
The President visited this town to assess the damage and the needed help of the people of Pangasinan affected by the typhoon.

When she learned that the Urdaneta Public Market was recently gutted down by fire, she said some P5 million would be provided by Congressman Mark Cojuangco, P5 million by the City of Urdaneta and P5 million by the national government for its initial construction.

She added that Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo had assessed that floods had damaged some 6 million bangus fry in fishponds.

Besides replacing the bangus fry, the DA would also disperse 250,000 tilapia fry and 315 bags of certified rice seeds, she said.

She further announced that the National Food Authority (NFA) has allocated 200 sacks of rice for each Pangasinan congressional district.

The President branded as false a radio announcement that the flooding in Pangasinan was caused by the opening of the Binga Dam.

"I checked and I am announcing to you that this is not true," she said in Ilocano. She added that the Binga Dam was not opened and is not going to be opened.

The Binga Dam-San Roque Dam, combined, could capture the water coming from the mountains, she said, stressing that flooding in the Agno River remained "a thing of the past."

The flooding in Urdaneta, Dagupan, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara was the result of the heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Chedeng.

The President thanked the people for a warm welcome accorded her during the visit. Urdaneta is adjacent to the President's hometown, Binalonan.

She hoped that after the typhoon, after the relief operation, and after rehabilitation work, the people of Pangasinan would return to normal life.