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Relief efforts stepped up in typhoon-devastated Bicol; aid given to affected residents

While the Bicol region is still reeling from the impact of the recent slew of typhoons, Senator Win Gatchalian checks on how residents are coping from the devastation in Catanduanes, Albay, and Camarines Sur.


VIRAC, CATANDUANES, Philippines – A woman is being followed by her children after washing soiled clothes at the Pajo River, 14 Nov. 2020 in Brgy. Sto. Domingo, where scores of houses were destroyed when the body of water swelled at the height of Typhoon Ulysses. The lawmaker, along with local officials of his hometown Valenzuela City, will be visiting the Bicol Region this Sunday for a disaster relief operation. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

Gatchalian, along with Valenzuela City Congressman Wes Gatchalian, Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja and Councilor Rovin Feliciano, will meet with the provinces’ officials to discuss recovery efforts, including the restoration of power and lines of communication, and strategies aimed at continuing children’s education.

“Talagang mas naging komplikado ngayon ang sitwasyon. May COVID-19 na nga, may mga bagyo pang dumadating. Maraming modules ang nasira. Maraming mga pamilya na lumikas at hindi na nadala ang mga modules. Pati mga computers ay nasira dahil sa sunod-sunod na mga bagyo,” expressed Gatchalian in disappointment.

“Dalawang bagay ang nakikita ko dito. Una, habang unti-unting bumabangon ang mga nasalantang lugar, unti-unti na ring dapat magbigay ng mas marami pang modules, mag-imprenta at siguraduhing tuloy-tuloy ang pamimigay nito sa ating mga estudyante,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

The three provinces which were badly hit by typhoons Ulysses and Quinta and super typhoon Rolly will be extended six million peso-financial assistance — all coming from the budget of the city of Valenzuela, the hometown of the senator. Albay will get PhP 2,200,000 cash: PhP 1,000,000 for the Provincial Government of Albay, PhP 300,000 for Tabaco City, PhP 200,000 for the municipality of Camalig, PhP 200,000 for the municipal government of Malinao, PhP 250,000 for Daraga, and PhP 250,000 for Guinobatan.

The lawmaker will likewise check on the aftermath of the typhoons in Camarines Sur and will extend PhP 2,500,000 cash to the province: PhP 1,000,000 will go the provincial government of Camarines Sur, PhP 200,000 will go to the municipal government of Bato, PhP 250,000 for the municipality of Buhi, PhP 200,000 for Bula, PhP 200,000 for Calabanga, PhP 250,000 for Libmanan, PhP 200,000 for Nabua, and PhP 200,000 for the municipality of Pili.

Catanduanes will also get assistance worth PhP 1,300,000 cash: PhP 1,000,000 for the provincial government of Catanduanes alone, and PhP 300,000 for the municipal government of Virac.

Flooding incidents were reported in many municipalities in the region, as well as landslides in many towns. Thousands of families are still left homeless up to this day.

Gatchalian emphasized that disaster response and recovery should entail public health protocols. He is donating slippers, face masks, and face shields to ensure the welfare and safety of the people while the country is still battling COVID-19.