THE House of Representatives under Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez‘s leadership would work closely with the Marcos administration on immediate release of funding support for the rehabilitation and recovery efforts to assist the victims of 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Southern Mindanao on Friday.
House Deputy Majority Leader for Communications and ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo made the statement after personally visiting the affected areas in General Santos City and Sarangani province Sunday upon the directive of Speaker Romualdez to assess the damage and identify resources required for relief and recovery efforts.
“I assure the people of Mindanao that the House of Representatives, in partnership with President Bongbong Marcos, would move to mobilize resources needed for rehabilitation and recovery aid in areas greatly affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake,” Speaker Romualdez said.
Upon consultation with House Committee on Appropriations chairman and AKO Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co, Tulfo said the House leadership would coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to tap its Quick Response Fund (QRF) for reconstruction and rehabilitation programs and repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure facilities.
Tulfo said Speaker Romualdez, who joined President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the recently concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the United States, has been giving instructions after he provided comprehensive updates on the status of the affected areas.
“Ang instruction sa atin ni Speaker Romualdez tiyakin na mahahanapan ng pondo ang rehabilitasyon ng mga nasirang lugar at pagkakaloob ng kabuhayan sa mga naapektuhan,” Tulfo said.
“Marami talaga ang nasira. Hindi lang mga tulay at kalsada, lumubog rin ang malaking bahagi ng Glan Fish Port. Sa Sarangani pa lang ang initial estimate P200 milyon ang kakailanganin.
Hinihintay pa natin ang ibang assessment pati sa General Santos City at Davao Occidental. Ilang daang milyong piso ang kakailanganin natin para sa ating mga kababayan,” Tulfo added.
Tulfo also led the distribution of relief packs from the Office of the Speaker and Tingog Partylist in the presence of Sarangani Gov. Rogelio “Ruel” Pacquiao and Sarangani Lone District Rep. Steve Chiongbian Solon at Glan Municipal Gymnasium.
“Mabilis at tuloy-tuloy ang pagtulong ng Tingog Party-list para maramdaman ng mga residente dito na laging nandito ang Kongreso sa pamumuno ni Speaker Romualdez,” Tulfo stressed.
He also inspected the Glan Municipal Hall with Pacquiao and Glan Mayor Victor James “Tata” B. Yap Sr., which would need an estimated P30 million to repair its damaged parts.
They also checked the Glan Port, following huge cracks on its pavements where a portion of the pier submerged.
From a rough estimate of DPWH District Engineer Rey Francisco, Tulfo said Sarangani would need at least P200 million to repair the province’s infrastructures.
Tulfo said the Speaker’s Office would also distribute construction materials for individuals whose homes were damaged by the earthquake.
He called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to provide livelihood initiatives to help the victims who lost their income after the earthquake.
Tulfo also met the group of General Santos City Mayor Lorelie Geronimo Pacquiao to discuss similar concerns brought about by the earthquake.