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Immediate gov’t aid for Camarines Sur folk sought

CAMARINES Sur officials led by Rep. LRay Villafuerte and Gov. Migz Villafuerte have appealed for immediate relief and assistance from President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for at least 80,000 families in the province’s 35 municipalities and one city (Iriga) hit the hardest by super typhoon Rolly, considered the strongest land-falling tropical cyclone to ever hit the country.

We are appealing for immediate assistance from the President for the devastation wrought by super typhoon Rolly, particularly for the most severely affected 80,000 families all over the province’s 1,036 barangays, many of whom have totally or partially lost their homes to this extremely potent ‘Category 5’ cyclone that hit Bicol a week after the onslaught of super typhoon Quinta,” Villafuerte said.

“We need aid right away from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and the NHA (National Housing Authority) for Camarines Sur folk who are now reeling from the triple whammy of super typhoons Rolly and Quinta and the lingering coronavirus pandemic,” Villafuerte, a three-term governor prior to his election to the House of Representatives, said.

Villafuerte, who has been in the province since last week to monitor developments and help oversee relief efforts, said CamSur was the hardest hit province as super typhoon Rolly struck the province last weekend with maximum winds of 225 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 310 kph.

He said the province’s palay growers have also been severely affected as they were about to harvest their crops in the weeks ahead before the super typhoon struck last weekend.

Rep. Villafuerte and his son, Gov. Villafuerte, said immediate assistance is needed by the province’s severely affected 80,000 families in all 35 municipalities and Iriga City.

In a letter to President Duterte, Gov. Villafuerte asked for assistance in the form of available funding from the DSWD and other available fund resources for their proposed cash aid of P3,000 to P5,000 for each of the 80,000 severely affected families.

“We likewise seek the assistance of the NHA through its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) for many of our people whose homes have been totally or partially destroyed,” said the governor in his letter to the President.

“The province of Camarines Sur has always been supportive of our national government efforts including that of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country. It is the only province in the entire Bicol Region with an isolation center and is continuing to provide free testing to targeted individuals,” he said.

Citing the preliminary damage report released by Luzena Bermeo of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) secretariat, Rep. Villafuerte said that as early as Oct. 30, the provincial government already started evacuating 54,376 families from the high-risk barangays, particularly those that were hit a week ago by super typhoon Quinta.

The PDRRMC’s initial report bared that super typhoon Rolly affected some 251,000 families totalling 1,025,770 individuals in the province’s 1,036 barangays.

The super typhoon also affected 24,458 farmers and wiped out P752 million-worth of palay, corn and high-value crops; 34.350 fisherfolk and damaged P13.3 million worth of municipal and inland fisheries stocks; and destroyed P1.9 billion-worth of infrastructure like roads, bridges, dams, irrigation systems and school buildings.

According to the same PDRRMC report, the cyclone flooded 186 barangays in 29 municipalities; totally damaged 20,658 houses and partially damaged 55,515 homes; and left Iriga City and the 35 municipalities with no electricity; 7 municipalities with interrupted water supply, and 13 municipalities with no communication lines.

The biggest damage from the week-ago super typhoon Quinta was also reported in Camarines Sur, with an estimated 4,400 hectares (ha) of palay farms destroyed and valued at P225 million.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight