Philippines

Philippines: GMA augments Mayon fund with P5 M for provision of basic needs of evacuees

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President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the release of P5 million to augment the funds for the provision of the basic needs and other facilities for the thousands of people temporarily displaced by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in Albay.
This was disclosed today by Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman during a media forum at the Ciudad Fernandina in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Soliman said the augmentation fund, to be funneled through the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) in Albay, will be used for additional basic services in the 29 designated evacuation areas. It will be used primarily for the installation of potable water connections and the construction of temporary toilets, she added.

The DSWD secretary said the Mayon Volcano eruption has affected at least 36 barangays in the towns of Camalig, Ligao, Daraga, Maliliput and Tabaco.

Some 8,500 families, or some 43,000 people, are temporarily sheltered in 22 evacuations centers in the affected areas in Albay.

During her visit to Albay last Monday, Soliman and other representatives of various government agencies brought with them mosquito nets, ash masks and other basic necessities for the evacuees and other people affected by Mayon's eruption.

Aside from the P5 million, the DSWD secretary explained that the PDCC and other concerned government agencies are also utilizing their respective emergency funds to provide food and other basic necessities for the evacuees.

According to Soliman, the DSWD has already prepared more than P630,000 worth of food items for immediate distribution in the affected areas.

On top of that, Soliman pointed out that a standby fund of P1.9 million is now in Albay to replete any possible shortage in funds.

Soliman assured the public that the government is prepared to meet anu contingency arising out of the volcano's eruption, adding that the private sector is continuously providing vital support to assist the evacuees in the affected areas in Bicol.