MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte promised to expedite the release of all forms of help to Filipinos affected by Taal Volcano eruption with the immediate passage of the P30 billion supplemental budget to augment the existing calamity fund.
During his speech, Duterte said that he would ask Congress to pass the supplemental budget to reinforce the government’s efforts in response to the volcanic eruption.
“I will ask Congress to expedite to cover P30 billion. Iyong tulong, pati sa livestock,” he said.
“Dadating ang tulong sa inyo, maghintay lang kayo, and we will act fast. Sa tamang panahon, dadating ang tulong sa inyo,” he added.
Duterte also called for the construction of permanent evacuation centers in disaster-prone areas across the country.
“I’m urging Congress sa lahat ng areas na prone sa disaster na magkaroon ng mga evacuation center na malalaki lalo na ‘yung mga probinsya na nakaharap sa Pacific Ocean,” Duterte said.
Duterte, accompanied by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, led the distribution of relief assistance to victims of the Taal volcano eruption in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Monday, January 20.
Aside from the distribution of relief goods to affected families and individuals, the Office of the President also gave financial assistance to disaster-stricken local government units (LGUs) to help in their recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
Go also gave away dust masks to affected LGUs for distribution to residents to protect them from the effects of the ashfall.
For his part, Go filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1228 in December last year which provides for the establishment of an evacuation center in every city, province and municipality throughout the country.
According to the senator, it is necessary to build permanent evacuation centers nationwide to ensure the safety of Filipinos in times of natural calamities and other disasters given the geographic location of the country.
Go, who has now visited Batangas for the third time since the eruption, also joined the President on January 14 at the Batangas Sports Complex for a situation briefing with key government officials.
The senator returned on January 16 when he distributed financial assistance, relief goods and packed meals to evacuees at Bauan Technical High School in Bauan, Batangas, and Barangay Kaybagal South in Tagaytay City. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)