THE House of Representatives led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has launched a fund drive to aid communities affected by two successive strong typhoons that hit the country in less than a week.
Velasco said donations are voluntary and lawmakers are welcome to contribute any amount to the fund that will help in the rescue, recovery and rehabilitation efforts in areas ravaged by typhoons Quinta and Rolly.
Several lawmakers made the first contribution, pledging their full salary for the month of November to help victims of the two consecutive typhoons, which battered many areas in Luzon and the Visayas.
“The devastation caused by the two successive typhoons demands that each of us must help in every way we can to provide some relief and comfort to our countrymen who continue to endure these sufferings as the nation battles with COVID-19,” he said.
Since Monday when the fund drive started, the House has already raised almost P7 million in cash donations from its members, according to the House Secretariat.
House Secretary General Jocelia Bighani Sipin said the Speaker also gave instructions to call for donations of non-perishable items that will be sent to hardest hit communities in Bicol region.
“We are setting up donation boxes and all departments in Congress are encouraged to drop what they can to help the typhoon victims,” Sipin said.
In a memorandum dated Nov. 3, 2020, Sipin appealed to House members and department heads to donate “non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothes, footwear or any other items that may be useful and necessary to address” the needs of typhoon victims.
Sipin said “Mula sa Kongreso Para sa Pilipino” donation boxes are located at the lobbies of the North Wing, South Wing, RVM Building and South Wing Annex.
Donations may also be sent through the Office of the Secretary General during the donation drive which runs from Nov. 4 to 13, she added.
At least 20 people died and more than 2 million impacted after Typhoon Rolly, the world’s strongest tropical cyclone this year, swept across the Philippines last weekend, according to the country’s emergency agencies as of Nov. 3.
The Department of Public Works and Highways reported that Rolly’s damage to infrastructure reached almost P6 billion, while the Department of Agriculture (DA), citing initial surveys, said the typhoon damaged 116,962 metric tons of goods worth almost P2 billion.
Typhoon Quinta, on the other hand, left at least 16 people dead in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Western and Central Visayas. It partially destroyed 27,213 houses while 2,315 others were totally damaged.
The DA reported that Quinta wiped out 145,577 metric tons of agricultural goods worth P2.56 billion, and almost 50,000 farmers and fisherfolk were affected.