Bicol governors seek more aid

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Governors in provinces in Bicol hardest hit by Typhoon Rolly have appealed for more aid from the national government.

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua said it could take months for the province to recover from the onslaught of the typhoon.

As of yesterday, Cua said they have only around 3,000 food packs, which are not enough for the 15,000 families or 68,000 people displaced by the typhoon in his province.

“Talagang devastated kami,”Cua said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

He urged concerned government agencies to provide cash or food for work program for his constituents.

Cua said they also need construction materials, such as galvanized iron sheets, for those whose homes were destroyed by the typhoon.

Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara said only P60 million is left of their calamity fund for this year.

“We need more than that,” Bichara said.

He said more than 20,000 houses and other structures were either damaged or destroyed by the typhoon.

Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero urged the government to fully utilize funds from parametric insurance to help rehabilitate provinces hit by Rolly.

Escudero told  “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News on Monday that only a few provinces have benefited from the insurance policy because implementors are looking at reports on the damage brought by typhoons.

“Ginawa namin ang parametric insurance sa tulong ng World Bank kung saan ang basehan ay hindi damage. Ang basehan ay typhoon signal,” he said.

Escudero said a province could get around P180 million to recover from typhoons and other natural calamities under the insurance policy.

Meanwhile, the water level in Angat Dam increased to 202.26 meters yesterday, a .35-meter increase compared to Monday’s 201.91 meters, due to rains brought by Rolly.

The dam’s minimum operating level is 180 meters.

Sevillo David Jr., executive director of the National Water Resources Board, said further improvement in the water level would ensure sufficient supply for Metro Manila consumers until next year’s summer months. – Ramon Efren Lazaro

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