THE Cebu City Council has approved the resolution allocating P10 million as financial assistance to local government units (LGUs) affected by the earthquakes in Regions 11 and 12 since Oct. 16, 2019.
Majority Floor Leader Raymond Garcia, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, sponsored the resolution through his privilege speech during the council’s regular session on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
“We will see the final recommendation of the assessment team which our City Government has already dispatched to the affected areas headed by Councilor Dave Tumulak, but I would like to propose an initial amount of P10 million as financial assistance to be distributed in the affected areas,” Garcia.
The city councilor said the amount will be charged against the local disaster fund.
The Cebu Provincial Government has also allocated P20 million as financial assistance to the affected LGUs.
Based on Garcia’s list, severely affected are the municipalities of Magsaysay, Matanao, Banlasan and Digos City in Davao del Sur and the municipalities of Makilala, Tulunan, Magpet and Kidapawan City in Cotabato.
“Thousands of families have been left homeless and displaced because of the violent movement of the earth. Many lives were lost and displaced,” Garcia said.
In Magsaysay alone, he said 1,300 families, or 4,600 individuals were displaced and more than 7,000 houses and structures were destroyed or damaged because of the earthquakes and their aftershocks.
He said the survivors, who have been temporarily housed in evacuation centers, are in dire need of drinking water, food and medicines.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said the assessment team headed by Tumulak might be able to come up with a recommendation on how much and which LGUs would receive finance assistance from Cebu City on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Meanwhile, Eddu Ybañez, the executive secretary of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, said the City Government will distribute P8 million as financial assistance to quake-affected LGUs in Mindanao.
Like Cebu City, Mandaue will also focus on the hardest-hit areas like Tulunan, Makilala, Arakan, President Roxas, Magpet and Kidapawan City in Cotabato.
The amount to be distributed will depend on the population of the affected LGU.
Ybañez said the City opted to extend financial assistance since relief goods can get damaged during transit plus shipping costs can be prohibitive.
“Also, those in ground zero know where our financial assistance can be of better use,” he said in Cebuano.
Mandaue City Budget Officer Giovanni Tianero said the P8 million will come from the budget of the mayor’s Office.
“Mayor Cortes gave us a marching order to look for a budget that could be given to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao. That’s how we found out that the mayor’s office could spare the amount,” Tianero said in Cebuano.
Ybañez said there is no need for them to personally turn over the financial assistance to selected LGUs. (From PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, PJB, KFD)