Capitol to spend P500M to help ‘Odette’ survivors in Cebu

·3 min read

THE Cebu Provincial Government will allocate P500 million to help Typhoon Odette (Rai) survivors regain their livelihood, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said during a visit to Balamban town Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, without giving details.

During the visit, the governor also said she would put up a radio base in all local government units (LGUs) and police stations in the province so communication would not be hampered in the absence of a mobile phone signal or internet connection, Sugbo News reported.

When Odette hit Cebu last Dec. 16 bearing gusts of up to 240 kilometers per hour, it toppled power lines and cell towers, causing a province-wide blackout, communication problems and water supply issues.

The governor added that she would allocate funds in the Capitol’s 2022 budget for the purchase of generator sets with the view to every barangay in the province having at least one generator set.

Many parts of Cebu immediately encountered water supply issues when the electricity to power water pumps was cut.

However, the fifth class municipality of Alcantara continued to have water supply even after Odette knocked down power lines, after the southwestern Cebu town’s generator sets distributed to its barangays were installed in homes with deep wells, according to the official news platform of the Cebu Provincial Government.

As of Monday, 16 of the 18 local government units covered by the Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) 1 in southern Cebu, including Alcantara, remained without power 11 days after the storm.

On Tuesday, Dec. 28, however, Cebeco 1 energized some parts of Barangay Poblacion, Legaspi and Sta. Filomena, the Public Information Office of Alegria town announced.

Last Sunday, Dec. 26, Governor Garcia and. Capitol officials visited 23 cities and towns in Cebu’s south and midwest badly hit by Odette and distributed satellite phones and high-frequency two-way radios (UHF/VHF) to help the LGUs in their relief and clearing operations pending the restoration of telco services.

Earlier, on Dec. 19, Garcia also gave each of 20 southern Cebu LGUs she visited P100,000 as initial assistance as well as relief goods.

The P2 million in cash divided among the 20 LGUs came from the P1 million each donated by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso and the Garcia Group of Companies.

Last Dec. 22, in a meeting with mayors, Garcia also announced that the Capitol would give at least P5 million to each of the 35 LGUs in Cebu that had been worst hit by Typhoon Odette.

“I will download a certain amount—maybe from P5 to P10 million—for each municipality and city so you can spend that further, just for our initial recovery efforts,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

She told the mayors that an initial P1 million would be immediately available for the LGUs to use.

Adding that she would prioritize helping the residents to rebuild their homes, she asked the mayors to submit a list of damaged and destroyed homes in their areas immediately so the Capitol could procure the appropriate supply of G.I. sheets and plywood.

Garcia also promised to allocate a “heftier” amount in Capitol’s 2022 budget for the rehabilitation of public infrastructure damaged by Odette.

As of Dec. 24, the Capitol said, it had delivered to the 35 LGUs worst hit by the Dec. 16 typhoon a total of 113,584 bottles of water, 21,233 sacks of rice, 46,000 liters of water in water tanks, 8,000 liters of fuel, 3,876 boxes of sardines, 6,744 boxes of beef loaf, 1,000 assorted goods, 502 boxes of noodles and 523 boxes of coffee. (CTL)

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