Tabaco Mayor Commends Duterte’s Disaster Response Efforts

President Rodrigo Duterte is the best and most pro-active chief executive on disaster response efforts compared to past leaders of the country, Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro of Tabaco City said during the turnover of relief goods of the Department of Social Welfare Department (DSWD) regional office to the municipal government Wednesday afternoon.

“For so many disaster operations we’ve been through as a mayor, this is the first time that I really feel the help of the national government when it comes to aid for displaced families of natural disaster,” she said.

Luistro, eldest daughter of Rep. Edcel Lagman, an ardent critic of President Duterte, lauded the initiatives of the Chief Executive in taking care of Mayon evacuees.

“This is the advantage of the President who served from local government because he knows the problems of the local government units,” the lady mayor said.

Luistro relayed to the Philippine News Agency that they spent PHP400,000 per day for Mayon evacuees but the move of the DSWD to take over the relief efforts for the whole month of February eased the burden of local mayors affected by Mayon eruption.

She said that Duterte is the best among the leaders the country has had. “I may not be in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies but I admire his disaster response measures to disaster victims,” Luistro said.

On Wednesday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with other member-agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), turned over PHP12.9 million worth of food packs and non-food items to Albay through its “Hatid Tulong sa Apektado ng Mt. Mayon Eruption Caravan” here.

More than 30 trucks from different government agencies and non-government organizations carrying 36,100 food packs and non-food items arrived at the Guinobatan Sports Complex.

The humanitarian caravan from the DSWD, through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Transportation (DOTr), World Food Programme (WFP), and Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation (PDRF), left the Department’s National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City on Tuesday.

DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia immediately turned over to nine local government units the assistance from the national government.

Garcia said the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) is targeting to deliver a total of 458,250 additional food packs to Albay.

The delivery of the relief goods will continue until all the required food and non-food items have been sent to all affected LGUs for proper management and distribution.

“From our office alone, we spent PHP59.8 million relief assistance for Mayon evacuees. Out of PHP59 million, PHP12 million of it was spent for non-food items covering 45 days aside from PHP65-million Cash for Work for Mayon evacuees,” Garcia said.

Based on the latest report of the DSWD-Disaster Response Operations, Management, and Information Center (DROMIC), some 16,106 families or 61,886 individuals are still taking temporary shelter in 57 evacuation centers in Albay due to the phreatomagmatic eruption of Mayon Volcano.

Among the three affected cities, Legazpi remains with the highest number of evacuees with 3,053 families or 11,648 persons followed by Tabaco with 1,914 families or 7,573 persons and Ligao with 951 families or 3,982 persons.

Of the six affected municipalities, Sto. Domingo has the highest number of evacuees with 2,941 families or 11,235 persons; Guinobatan has 2,764 families or 9,305 persons; Camalig with 2,436 families or 9,232 persons; Daraga with 1,828 families or 7,461 persons; Malilipot with 1,303 families or 5,067 persons; and Bacacay with 139 families or 506 persons. (PNA)

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