Bukidnon provincial gov’t to give P3.7M to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 November) — The provincial government of Bukidnon will extend a total of P3.7 million to survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas, Hansel Echavez, head of the Provincial Public Affairs and Information and Assistance Office, told MindaNews.

The provincial government intends to give P1.5 million to the City of Tacloban, P1 million to the City of Ormoc, P1 million to the Province of Leyte, and P200,000 to Old Bantayan and Bantayan Island.

The provincial government gave P2 million to Bohol and P1 million to Cebu after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the two provinces, and P1 million to Zamboanga City after the standoff between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction.

The provincial government announced the donation this week as it called on the public to pour in donations for the survivors.

In memorandum order 153-2013-B, Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. said only P1 million is left from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund that can be released for the purpose.

Zubiri’s order obliged employees to donate to the victims. He said regular and casual employees should give P1,000 each while division and department heads should give P2,000 each.

Zubiri said he will also shoulder a portion of the donation.

Echavez said the provincial government has 1,423 regular employees, including 27 department heads, and 840 casual employees.

The donation from regular and casual employees will be deducted from their personnel economic relief allowance for December 2013.

The donation from department heads will be charged against their representation and travelling allowances.

Echavez said the employees signed a waiver to facilitate the early deduction.

He added that aside from the employees of the provincial government, some mayors of Bukidnon’s 20 towns and two cities also made several gestures.

Municipal employees of Kitaotao, for example, shelled out P1,000 each for Yolanda survivors, he said.

Meanwhile, initiatives by the private sector are also ongoing. 1 Bukidnon Help Movement one of the biggest groups, have continued collections all over the province with pick-up points in key areas such as in Malaybalay, Valencia, and Maramag town.

The group will send its four-team humanitarian mission to Leyte on November 22, after sending a similar mission to Bohol last month.

In Maramag town, the 1 Bukidnon booth greets bus passengers at the town’s bus terminal manned by volunteers from Singles for Christ and employees of the Maramag municipal government.

They also placed a collection box at the entrance to the pay toilets and entered buses to ask for donations.

In Malaybalay City, 1 Bukidnon was collecting donations outside a mall and holding a rummage sale.

Personnel from the Malaybalay Polymedic Hospital held the sale at the Plaza Rizal on Sunday, offering toys, women’s clothing and accessories, and even copies of movies on DVDs at P5 each.

Erlow Talatala of the Association of Local Artists of Bukidnon has also initiated an online auction of art works the proceeds of which will be sent to Yolanda survivors. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)