• Aid rains on ‘Lawin’ victims in Cagayan

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    TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: A call for humanitarian assistance from the provincial government of Cagayan province has received positive results with continued pouring in of financial support, relief goods, materials and services from different sectors.

    Jaye Cabauatan, regional officer-in-charge of the Office of Civil Defense, over the weekend said the province that was devastated by the onslaught of Super Typhoon Lawin needs assistance to rebuild itself.

    The Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) placed at 110,000 partly damaged and 26,000 totally damaged houses aside from damage incurred in agriculture, livestock, infrastructure and livelihood.

    “Cagayan is so thankful that humanitarian assistance keeps pouring in from various government and non-government organizations, and stakeholders for areas hardest hit by Super Typhoon Lawin,” Cabauatan said.

    Some P6.1 million in humanitarian assistance was received by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) for Cagayan as well as Isabela, the other province that was battered by the typhoon in Cagayan Valley (Region 2).

    The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a government-owned and controlled corporation located in Santa Ana town, was among the earliest to respond to the call before and after the typhoon.

    Registered enterprises with CEZA such as Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation and Eastern Hawaii Leisure and Resort Corporation Ltd. continue to extend their financial help to typhoon victims in northern Cagayan towns.

    Other CEZA partners, like the First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC), have also committed to bring more items to families in coastal communities and other affected areas at the Cagayan Freeport that are their priorities in terms of assistance.

    The CEZA management has responded in assisting more than 2,700 families affected in the 17 barangay (villages) in the coastal town of Santa Ana.

    Joyce Jayme-Calimag, CEZA public relations chief, said their post-typhoon operations will continue to cover other towns in Cagayan that were also heavily affected by the super typhoon.

    The city government of Valenzuela in Metro Manila and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, whose mother is a native of Aparri town, has given P5.6 million for the rehabilitation of Cagayan

    Governor Manuel Mamba said under the “No town left behind” program of the provincial government, they will provide P200,000 for each barangay or P10,000 for the seven purok (smallest unit) in each village in the province.

    Mamba added that the P10,000 assistance is for galvanized iron (GI) sheets, nails, hammer and other carpentry tools.

    “We have now an initial P20 million in cash and 15,000 GI sheets from the different departments of the provincial government for our ‘No town left behind’ program to rehabilitate the province,” he said.

    According to the governor, they have also been receiving continued help from national agencies of the government such as the Social Welfare, Labor and Agriculture departments and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

    The Cagayan Provincial Information Office said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who had met with Mamba, is working in the Senate for the release of P30 million in financial help to Cagayan.

    Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and provincial employees have sent P1 milllion and 2,000 relief packs to Cagayan.

    The neighboring provinces of Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, though they were also hit by typhoons Karen and Lawin, also saw the need to extend financial and relief aid to affected families in Cagayan.

    Davao City in southern Mindanao donated P1.8 million.

    SM Cauayan City, through the SM Foundation Inc. Operation Tulong Express, also sent its help to at least 1,000 families in Isabela and 2,700 families in Cagayan.

    Krystal Gayle Agbulig, SM Cauayan City public relations officer, said the mall’s relief operations were conducted in cooperation with the provincial governments of Cagayan and Isabela.

    The One Meralco Foundation (OMF) also donated 50 units of rechargeable lamps, two mini generator sets and extension cords to the Social Welfare regional office for the department’s Municipal Action Teams and Provincial Action Teams, primary responders on the ground.

    Together with the National Electrification Administration Task Force Kapatid and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the OMF also helped Cagayan Electric Cooperatives in restoration of power in Lawin-affected areas.

    The Tarlac Enterprises Inc., Aboitiz company and electric cooperatives from Tarlac, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Quirino, Nueva Ecija and Zambales provinces and Dagupan City and Cabanatuan City have extended help to restore power lines.

    Others extending their assistance were Phoenix 5R Solid Waste Management Co. of Laguna, Wong Chu King Foundation Mighty Corp., Ateneo de Manila University, Junior Chamber International, major television networks, businessmen and individuals, among others.

    Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office requested all non-government organizations extending humanitarian assistance to first register at the Operations Center for proper monitoring of areas where their services are to be rendered.

    Cabauatan said this is to avoid duplication of activities and the resources coming in will not be concentrated on few areas.

    The Provincial Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PCCDRRMO) had said it would be needing at least P150 billion in rehabilitation fund for the province.

    Also the PCCDRRMO chief, Mamba said that with the typhoon damage placed at P8 billion in agriculture and infrastructure, there would be a need for a similar Yolanda rehabilitation plan in the province.

    He added that the typhoon practically destroyed houses in the 12 municipalities in the province that were directly hit, excluding the P3 billion in destroyed infrastructure.

    Cagayan farmers were also among those severely affected, with P5-billion damage to their agricultural crops and livestock, Mamba said.

    LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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