GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 June)– Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao pledged over the weekend an initial P2 million for the purchase and development of a relocation site for the victims of last week’s devastating flashfloods in Glan town.
Pacquiao announced the fresh assistance after leading the distribution of additional relief goods on Sunday to hundreds of residents who were directly affected by the floods that ravaged three coastal villages of Glan last June 12.
“We will immediately acquire a relocation site and resettle all those who lost their homes,” he told reporters.
Pacquiao was referring to the owners of the 162 houses that were earlier washed away by the floods in Barangays Big Margus, Pangyan and Cross.
The Glan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) noted that 139 houses were totally destroyed by the floods in Cross, 16 in Big Margus and seven in Pangyan.
It said 111 other houses sustained partial damages as a result of the floods, which affected a total of 568 families from the three villages.
Pacquiao said the funding for the acquisition and development of the relocation site will not be sourced from his congressional allocation but from his “own pocket.”
“Yung pera na to ay di galing sa gobyerno kundi galing sa bulsa ko. Sabi ko balato ko sa kanila,” (This money is not from the government but from my own pocket. It’s my treat to them) he said.
Pacquiao, who was home for the first time after losing his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt last June 9 to American champion Timothy Bradley in a controversial split decision, arrived at around 10 a.m. at the city airport on Sunday aboard a private jet.
He was met by a subdued yet warm welcome celebration at the airport by a group that included his mother Dionisia and local officials led by Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, Vice Mayor Shirlyn Nograles and South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr.
He then joined a brief news conference prepared by the city government before proceeding to Glan town.
Pacquiao reiterated that he decided to cut short his post-fight vacation with his family in the United States so he can return to Sarangani and personally attend to the needs of the flood victims in the area.
He will remain there for at least three days before reuniting with his family. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)