MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday said it needs at least P4-billion for the initial rehabilitation and reconstruction works in areas heavily-hit by recent earthquakes in Mindanao.
NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said they have already presented a recommendation to the President during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night.
The recommendation includes the sustainment of relief operations and fund requirements for reconstruction and rehabilitation works in quake-stricken municipalities.
Part of the fund will also be used to help local government units whose calamity funds have already been used up.
“Kasama na ‘yung mga initially identified reconstruction projects by DPWH. Not all of the amount of P4 billion is needed immediately,” Jalad told reporters in a briefing.
The NDRRMC chief, however, clarified that the said amount is still tentative as the exact amount for the necessary works will still be determined in the agency’s post-disaster assessment.
Jalad added that relief operations in evacuation centers by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are still ongoing.
Other government agencies, including the Philippine Navy, also sent additional assets such as mobile kitchens, water treatment, and cargo trucks, to help in relief efforts.
Jalad also said they are now coordinating with concerned agencies regarding proposals on housing projects and relocation for families who lost their homes due to recent earthquakes.
Residents from identified danger zones as recommended by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau will be given priority in these projects, he added.
“‘Yung project proposals sinisimulan pa lang… We should see the implementation of the project the soonest,” Jalad said.
Three strong earthquakes jolted parts of Mindanao last month. A magnitude 6.3 quake struck on Oct. 16, magnitude 6.6 on Oct. 29 and magnitude 6.5 on Oct. 31.
The epicenters of these tremors were traced in Tulunan town in Cotabato.
The NDRRMC said the number of fatalities from these powerful temblors has climbed to 28 while more than 400 people were injured. The quakes affected thousands of families and destroyed many structures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
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