Cebu City sends 60-man emergency team, relief goods to Catanduanes

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A TEAM of 60 emergency responders carrying relief goods for typhoon-ravaged Catanduanes left Cebu City on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, on board the BRP Batak of the Philippine Navy.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who led the send-off ceremony at the Naval Forces Central, said the team led by Councilor Dave Tumulak and Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) chief Frances Abangan will help in the clearing operations.

The island-province of Catanduanes in Bicol region bore the brunt of Typhoon Rolly (Goni), which made landfall over the town of Bato on Nov. 1 as a super typhoon with torrential rainfall and powerful winds of 225 kilometers per hour (kph).

Labella said Tumulak carries with him the P5 million check as financial assistance from the Cebu City Government to Catanduanes.

The team also brought with them 500 sacks of rice containing 50 kilos each, 5,100 bottles of iced tea and 850 bottles of 1.5 liters of water.

The group is expected to arrive in Catanduanes on Saturday morning, Nov. 14, after a 24-hour trip.

The same team was sent to provide humanitarian assistance to Leyte and Mindanao, Labella said.

He was thankful to the Cebu City Council for approving the P5 million assistance.

Labella said he was also thinking of sending aid to Marikina City in Metro Manila and the neighboring Rizal province, which suffered from massive flooding wrought by Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) on Nov. 11.

However, he said the City does not have sufficient funds to help other local government units (LGUs) because of poor revenue collection due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Labella said the City Treasurer’s Office used to collect an average of P11 million in taxes a month compared to the around P1 million recently. / PAC