THE Cebu City Government is set to extend P5 million in financial assistance to the Province of Batangas following the Taal Volcano unrest.
Mayor Edgardo Labella met with Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, to determine what type of assistance can the City Government possibly provide that befits the situation.
Labella, the League of Cities of the Philippines national chairman, was accompanied by Harold Alcontin, head of the city’s disaster office.
In his discussion with Mandanas, the mayor found that what the affected residents needed the most were water and food supplies.
Although the initial plan was to donate these items, Labella said it was best to extend cash aid instead, given that Cebu City is approximately 775 kilometers away from Batangas province.
“I will recommend to the (City) Council the approval of the P5 million assistance (for Batangas),” he continued.
The mayor has asked Councilor Joel Garganera to sponsor a resolution on the matter so that it can be included in the City Council’s next session.
He added that the extension of the financial aid was already approved by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
Taal Volcano erupted last Jan. 12, spewing ash that blanketed several towns in Batangas province and turning agricultural areas into fields of gray.
During his visit to the evacuation centers, Labella saw the need for Cebu City to establish evacuation centers equipped with amenities such as toilets, among others.
While there may be no volcanoes located near the city, Labella said it would be wise to be prepared, especially for disasters like fire. Three separate fires have broken out in Cebu City this month alone.
Labella said fire-prone barangays such as Mambaling and Pasil will be prioritized.
The mayor has directed the Department of Engineering and Public Works to create a program of works and estimates so that a budget can be allocated for the construction of evacuation centers. (JJL)