GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 October) — The city government has approved the release of around P6 million in financial assistance to augment the continuing relief operations in the conflict-torn Zamboanga City and the earthquake-hit provinces of Bohol and Cebu.
The Davao City government on the other hand gave P18.5 million to Bohol and Cebu with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte personally delivering the donation last Sunday. A million pesos was allotted for the town of Maribojoc in Bohol whose mayor, Leoncio Evasco, a former priest, was City Administrator of Davao City for several years.
Luzvimi Entila Jr., acting chief of the City Public Information Office, said Tuesday that the cash assistance was granted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) as part of its disaster or calamity response initiatives.
He said the endorsement was made by the CDRRMC in a meeting on Monday presided by Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles.
As set by the council, the funds would be drawn from the 30 percent quick response component of the CDRRM fund that comprise five percent of the city’s annual budget.
“The city is sending P4 million to Bohol and P1 million each to Cebu and Zamboanga City,” Entila noted in an advisory.
Aside from the cash donations, which would be delivered to the affected local government units (LGUs), the official said the city government has launched a relief drive for the affected residents of the three calamity-hit areas.
He said the local government is specifically urging residents to donate in kind in the form of food and non-food items for the calamity victims in Bohol, Cebu and Zamboanga City.
“The city government is most willing to sort and transport your donations along with the cash assistance that it will be delivering,” Entila said.
He said the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the CDRRM Office will accept donations until Friday, Oct. 25.
Entila said they have tapped the city’s media entities to assist in the appeals and releases of relevant information regarding the relief drive.
Around 23,000 families or 118,000 individuals from 14 barangays of Zamboanga City and one village in Zamboanga Sibugay were displaced last month due to a three-week standoff between government forces and members of the Moro National Liberation Front under founding chair Nur Misuari.
Thousands of houses were gutted down by a number of fires that erupted at the height of the conflict, forcing most of the affected residents to remain in the evacuation centers.
Bohol and Cebu were rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake at 8:12 a.m. last Oct. 15 that left 190 people dead and 605 others injured.
The temblor, whose epicenter was traced two kilometers southeast of Carmen in Bohol, damaged various structures, among them centuries-old churches that had served as tourist destinations.
The tectonic quake was felt at intensity seven in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor. It was measured at intensity four in parts of northern Mindanao.
As of Tuesday morning, at least 11 residents have remained missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
It said a total of 588,564 families or 2,945,963 persons have been affected by the calamity in 1,282 barangays of 52 municipalities and six cities in Western and Central Visayas.
The NDRRMC said some 73,734 families or 377,454 individuals have been displaced in Bohol alone and are staying in 104 established evacuation centers and other shelter areas.
In Davao City, aside from the P18.5 million donation to Bohol and Cebu, the City Government of Davao, together with the dioceses of DaDiTaMa (Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati), and other sectors launched Oplan Tabang Bohol.
Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles appealed to parishioners to donate food and shelter items such as tents.
Social Action Director Fr. Leonardo Dublan urged donors to bring their goods to the GSIS Subdivision Covered Court in Matina, near the Ascension of the Lord Parish in GSIS.
For cash donations, “please deposit to Roman Catholic Bishop of Davao; BDO CM Recto Branch. Account No. 2700245918. For check donations, please issue under the name of Roman Catholic Bishop of Davao, Inc. Those who want to personally hand over their cash/check donations may go to the Archbishop’s Residence Finance Office, F. Torres St., Davao City.”
Receiving of goods will be done up to October 25. For queries, please contact the Ascension of the Lord Parish in GSIS Subdivision at 298-2052 or 09216486555. (MindaNews)