House to craft rehab plan for areas affected by Taal eruption

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has directed the House Committee on Disaster Management and other relevant committees to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to help the severely affected areas in Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna due to the continuous volcanic activity of Taal.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cayetano said the chamber would collectively come up with short-term and long-term plans to restore and rehabilitate the affected areas to reinvigorate tourism and business in the affected provinces the soonest time possible.

We know that the local government units and other government agencies are already handling the rescue and relief operations so Congress can focus more on planning for the rehabilitation efforts, Cayetano said.

A comprehensive rehabilitation plan will entail funding, logistical and operational support from various national government agencies. Different House committees and relevant government agencies, as well as other urban planning experts, can work on this plan to ensure that it is disaster-resilient and sustainable, Cayetano added.

Philippine Institute Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) earlier announced that prolonged eruption of up to seven months could be the worst-case scenario for the volcano's intense activities.

Cayetano noted that a total of PHP16 billion has been allocated in the 2020 national budget for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

From this fund, there is PHP3.3 billion allotted for aid, relief and rehabilitation services to communities affected by calamities and PHP4.2 billion allocated for repair and reconstruction of permanent structures including capital expenditures.

The Speaker called for bayanihan amid the continuous volcanic activities and ashfall as he lamented the loss of livelihood and damage to shelters to families living near the Taal Volcano.

Let us stand strong with our countrymen who have been affected by Taal's ashfall, Cayetano said.

He also urged the public to extend a helping hand to those in need by volunteering at the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

We have seen the power of Filipino bayanihan spirit in the past natural calamities that we have experienced, even in the past South East Asian Games. The volunteers can make a difference in delivering programs and services, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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