Cebu News

City's aid to LGUs affected by Kanlaon down to P3 million

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
City's aid to LGUs affected by Kanlaon down to P3 million
This handout photo courtesy of Dollet Demaflies shows Mount Kanlaon volcano spewing a large plume of ash during an eruption as seen from La Castellana town, Negros occidental province, central Philippines on June 3, 2024.
Handout / Courtesy of Dollet Demaflies / AFP

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City’s financial assistance for the areas affected by the eruption of Mount Kanlaon in Negros Oriental was reduced to P3 million from P7 million, and will have lesser number of areas as recipients.

This was based on amended resolution sponsored by Councilor Joel Garganera, chairman of the Committee on Disaster of the Cebu City Council.

Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia signed last week a proposal to extend a total of P7 million in financial aid to the areas affected by the eruption of Mount Kanlaon.

The P7 million financial assistance was to be extended to the local government units of Bago, La Carlota, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, and Pontevedra, with P1 million each, while the City of Canlaon will get P2 million.

However, in previous discussions, the council deferred the approval after questioning the source of funds and the lack of damage reports where the appropriations are based.

During the discussion, Councilor Nestor Archival Sr., Minority Floor leader questioned the lack of documents from the City Development Council.

Garganera then explained that of six LGUs, there were only two LGUs that were given financial assistance stemming from their declaration of a state of calamity.

As such, only Kanlaon City and La Castellana will be receiving the aid from Cebu City with P2 million and P1 million, respectively. The other four LGUs were excluded from the aid since they did not declare a state of calamity.

As for the total sum, Garganera said the disaster council passed an amendment budget which was reduced from P7 million to P3 million. With thus, Garganera said that there’s no need for a resolution from the City Development Council since there is already an amendment from the disaster council hence his resolution.

Archival, however, argued that although it appears to have a reduced amount, the total sum is not slashed considering that there are only two areas that will be receiving the aid.

“Kung two LGUs, P1.5 (million each), so mas nidako pa hinuon siguro ni,” said Archival.

But Garganera said that from their constant communication with the disaster team in Canlaon, most of the residents have still not been able to go back to their farms and dwellings due to the red alert status.

He added that in their latest situation report, 800 families have been affected wherein P30 million has already been spent for food aid alone.

Further establishing the damage in Canlaon, Garganera said they have recorded a 5,000-ton metric loss of agricultural products.

At the end of the discussion, with Archival abstaining, the majority voted for the approval.

Sought for his reaction, Garcia said as it has already been agreed that only those who declared a state of calamity will be extended with financial aid, it is only justifiable that the total sum be reduced.

Garcia, however, said that the city government would have wanted to extend help to all six LGUs considering that there was also damage present in their areas.

“Under our rules we can only give for those who declares state of calamity nya duha ra,” said Garcia. –/ATO (FREEMAN)

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