KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 22 Oct) – The city government of Kidapawan extended help to earthquake victims even outside its area, distributing 30 sacks of rice in the municipality of Tulunan, epicenter of the magnitude 6.3 temblor that hit Mindanao last week.
Psalmer Bernalte, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), led the Kidapawan delegation in turning over the rice to their counterparts in Tulunan Monday.
Bernalte told media that their assistance to Tulunan, among those hardly hit in the earthquake, was based on a resolution approved earlier by the CDRRMC chaired by Mayor Joseph Evangelista.
The mayor said that although his city was also hit by the quake, Tulunan suffered heavy losses and need help from neighboring towns.
For Kidapawan quake victims, Evangelista said the National Housing Authority (NHA) is set to distribute at least P30,000 for building materials to owners of houses totally damaged by the quake, and P20,000 for those with houses that incurred partial damages.
As to when the money would be distributed, Evangelista did not say the exact date but said it would be soon.
On Monday, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go visited Tulunan where he also announced during the assembly that the NHA is set to help those whose houses incurred damages.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also set to distribute livelihood packages to affected households so they could start small business in their barangays.
Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbongan said at least 29 houses were totally damaged by the quake.
Meanwhile, the P50-million agriculture building inside the capitol complex here has been declared “off limits” to clients and employees after engineers found cracks in the structure.
Engineer James Gundaya, of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG), said they conducted tests to check the integrity of the building.
The OPAG engineers found that the structure’s beams, columns, and other parts had cracks.
Despite the damages, Gundaya said they recommended that the three-story building, built six years ago, will undergo retrofitting instead of demolition.
Retrofitting refers to addition of new features or improving the building with an efficient equipment.
Since October 17, a day after the magnitude 6.3 quake, OPAG employees have been transferred to the old OPAG building located nearby. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)