Speaker assures gov’t aid for Paeng victims

October 30, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 286 views

THE Office of Speaker Martin G. Romualdez has been conducting round-the-clock meetings with concerned agencies and high-ranking government officials this particular weekend to ensure a well-coordinated relief drive for the victims of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae).

Romualdez announced that he has already gained pledges of assistance from fellow House members led by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, and the private individuals in connection with the relief drive and initially generated P35 million worth of donations and pledges as of 12:45 a.m. Sunday.

On top of the P35 million, the Speaker has also received a pledge of assistance from private sector, which committed to helping in the production of much-needed relief packs.

Romualdez’s office has been busy linking up with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as well as the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), Department of National Defense (DND), and other departments and agencies to help typhoon victims.

“During the darkest hours, the House of the People in coordination and partnership with the Marcos administration is always here to assist and help Filipinos in their time of need. We will support all the national government initiatives in pursuing relief and recovery efforts in areas affected by typhoon Paeng,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez, who represents Leyte’s 1st District in the House, is also coordinating with the Departments of Health (DoH), Education (DepEd), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Trade and Industry (DTI), Energy (DoE), Transportation (DoTR), Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other departments to get a clearer picture of the storm’s impact on Filipinos in terms of the current health, rescue missions, infrastructure, education, prices of basic commodities, power supply, transportation, communications, and other concerns related to the calamity.

He further said that the House would be responsive to the needs of concerned departments in relation to the calamity when it comes to finalizing the proposed 2023 national budget.

The relief drive was publicly announced Saturday night on the Speaker’s social media platforms.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, Romualdez said he and his wife, Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts, responded to the requests of 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), and Governors Fredenil “Fred” H. Castro of Capiz and Florencio “Joeben” T. Miraflores of Aklan for financial and food assistance.

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 Speaker also said that Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre has readied a relief mission to Cotabato, Eastern Visayas, and other areas affected by typhoon Paeng.

“Sa tulong ng mga kasama nating mambabatas sa House of Representatives, magsasagawa ang Office of the Speaker ng relief drive at operations para sa mga komunidad na nasalanta ng Bagyong Paeng. Maglalaan tayo ng pondo para simulan ang pagbili ng mga kakailanganing relief goods tulad ng bottled waters, canned goods, bigas at iba pang basic necessities na ipapadala sa mga apektadong komunidad,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“Nananawagan din tayo sa pribadong sektor na makibahagi sa relief operations drive na ito at magpadala ng anumang tulong na maibabahagi nila sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo. Sa mga nagnanais at interesadong tumulong, maari po kayong tumawag sa numerong nasa baba (09171064969). Maliban dito, nag-coordinate na rin po tayo sa mga ahensya ng NDRRMC para maipaalam ang sitwasyon sa mga distrito base sa report ng ating mga kasama sa Kongreso. Asahan po ninyo na gagawin natin ang lahat para makabangon sa panibagong hamon na dala ng bagyo. Maraming salamat po at mag-ingat po tayong lahat,” Speaker Romualdez added.