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Cebu News

Cebu City allots P1.8M aid for areas hit by typhoons

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Despite its own financial woes, the Cebu City government has allocated P1.8 million financial assistance to areas affected by typhoon Seniang.

The City Council yesterday approved the amount to be distributed to areas badly affected by typhoon last December. The beneficiaries include the towns of Dumanjug, Alcantara, Ronda and Sibonga in Cebu, Catbalogan City in Samar and Borongan City in Eastern Samar. Each of the local government units will receive P300,000.

The amount would be charged against the city’s local disaster fund last year. Councilors David Tumulak and Lea Japson, who sponsored the resolution, said the amount would somehow help the municipalities and cities recuperate with the great destruction brought by the “unexpected” typhoon.

The councilors said the city, being a local government unit, has a “moral duty and social responsibility” to share its available resources to the towns and cities needing assistance.

“These are areas were badly damaged by Seniang and where lives were casualties reported. Apart from the lost lives, crops, agricultural products and government infrastructure were also damaged,” the resolution read.

The original resolution did not include Catbalogan and Borongan but Japson, upon request of Mayor Michael Rama, amended the resolution and increased the budget from P1.2 million to P1.8 million.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office executive director Simeon Romarate said the cities were included based on their recent damage assessment.

“Dako ang damage sa kani atong mga neighboring cities the reason why mohatag kita og financial assistance nila,” he said.

Councilor Alvin Dizon requested the disaster council to draft guidelines on the distribution of financial aid to calamity-stricken areas outside the Cebu City.

In a phone interview, Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan has thanked the city government for extending help to her city.

“I’m surprised! Nakakatuwa naman the City of Cebu extended help to us. It’s really a big help and it shows that the city has a big and generous heart for areas affected by the typhoon. ” she told The Freeman.

She said the amount will be used for the city’s rehabi-litation program since over a hundred families still need to be relocated.

“The rehabilitation plan would really cost us a lot because many infrastructures and crops were damaged. Considering also that 28 of our 57 barangays are landslide prone areas and others are flood and storm surge prone areas,” she said.

Tan said Seniang has taken 22 lives, injured 19 residents and destroyed 20 houses in Catbalogan.

Tan said her city only has an annual budget of P500 million wherein 20-percent is allocated for development projects. She said the amount left for the development will not suffice for the rehabilitation of the city in terms of infrastructure, livelihood, among others.

This is because the city is still recovering from the onslaught of typhoon Ruby where about 2,000 households were damaged and 600 residents need to be permanently relocated as they are living in areas prone to landslide and storm surge.

“I’ve been asking help from the national government for the city’s recovery. Kailangan namin ng tulong from other local government units and government agencies to recoup what we lost,” she said. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

AREAS

CATBALOGAN AND BORONGAN

CATBALOGAN CITY

CATBALOGAN CITY MAYOR STEPHANY UY-TAN

CEBU CITY

CITY

CITY COUNCIL

CITY DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MANAGEMENT OFFICE

GOVERNMENT

SENIANG

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