Pledges of assistance also received from private sector
THE Office of Speaker Martin G. Romualdez has gained some P49.2 million in terms of cash pledges in its continuing relief drive for the benefit of the families affected by Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” (international name: Nalgae).
This was announced by Romualdez Monday even as the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City, home of the House of Representatives, was transformed into a bustling hub for sorting and repacking relief goods since last weekend.
The running total for pledges in cash resulted from Romualdez’s call to the public last Saturday for donations in order to help victims of the destructive storm, which had affected various parts of the Philippines. The figure stood at P35 million as of early Sunday.
On top of the P49.2 million, the Speaker, who represents Leyte’s 1st District, has also received pledges of assistance from the private sector, which committed to help in the production of much-needed relief packs. Some of these items were already sent to typhoon victims in Cavite and Laguna.
The fund drive was led by Speaker Romualdez; his wife, House Committee on Accounts Chairperson and Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez; and House Committee on Appropriations Chairman, Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co.
“Tuloy-tuloy po ang relief drive at operations ng Kongreso para sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Paeng sa tulong ng mga staff ng Office of the Speaker at sa mga Secretariat employees ng House of Representatives. Asahan po ninyo na ginagawa natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang makapagpadala ng tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo,” the Speaker said on Monday.
House employees and officials also donated used clothes and other important items that can be used by the typhoon victims.
STS Paeng struck the country during a break in the sessions at the House and the congressmen were in their respective districts.
Their presence at their districts has allowed for better coordination on the ground in connecting with the Speaker’s relief drive.
As of 1 p.m. Monday, Speaker Romualdez and Rep. Yedda Romualdez have responded to the requests for financial or food assistance to the following House members: Reps. Emmanuel Billones (Capiz, 1st District), Jane T. Castro (Capiz, 2nd District), Carlito S. Marquez (Aklan, 1st District), Teodorico “Ted” Haresco Jr. (Aklan, 2nd District), Ferjenel G. Biron (Iloilo, 4th District), Gerardo Valmayor Jr. (Negros Occidental, 1st District), Antonio Legarda Jr. (Antique, Lone District), Mohamad P. Paglas (Maguindanao, 2nd District), Bai Dimple I. Mastura (Maguindanao and Cotabato City, 1st District), David “Jay-jay” C. Suarez (Quezon, 2nd District), former Speaker Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque, Lone District), House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe (Zamboanga City, 2nd District), Mercedes K. Alvarez (Negros Occidental, 6th District), Maria Theresa V. Collantes (Batangas, 3rd District), Sittie Aminah Q. Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, 2nd District), Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla (Cavite, 2nd District), Ramon Jolo B. Revilla III (Cavite, 1st District), and Marlyn “Len” B. Alonte (Biñan City, Lone District), Raul “Boboy” C. Tupas (Iloilo 5th District), Rene Ann Lourdes Matibag (Laguna, 1st District), Bryan Revilla (Agimat, Party-list), James “Jojo” Ang (USWAG ILONGGO, Party-list), Antonio A. Ferrer (Cavite, 6th District), Adrian Jay C. Advincula (Cavite, 3rd District), Roy Loyola (Cavite, 5th District), Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr. (Cavite, 4th district), Aniela Bianca D. Tolentino (Cavite, 8th District), Joseph “Jojo” Lara (Cagayan, 3rd District), and Dan S. Fernandez (Santa Rosa City, Lone District).
The couple also heeded calls for assistance from Governors Fredenil “Fred” H. Castro of Capiz and Florencio “Joeben” T. Miraflores of Aklan.
In partnership with Social Welfare and Development Sec. Erwin Tulfo, Speaker Romualdez also said
that the initial names of his colleagues who sought assistance from them will also receive aid from the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program.
The House in coordination with Tingog Party-list also being represented by Cong. Jude Acidre and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) facilitated relief operations in Leyte’s 5th District, Ormoc City, as well as parts of Cotabato and Maguindanao.
Meanwhile, the scene at Batasang Pambansa as well as the efforts of the employees who volunteered to repack relief goods on Sunday night touched Speaker Romualdez and further emboldened the House resolve to get to the people in need as soon as possible.
“Salamat sa mga staff ng Office of the Speaker at sa mga Secretariat employees ng House of Representatives sa pagbibigay ng oras para sa ating relief operations. Tuloy-tuloy po ang kanilang pagtulong kahit na walang pasok sa opisina para lamang maihatid ang mga relief goods sa mga nangangailangan nating kababayan. Saludo po ako sa inyong lahat!” Speaker Romualdez said.