Marikina, Manila, Rizal reach out to ‘Sendong’ victimsBy Jaymee T. Gamil, Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Two cities in Metro Manila and Rizal province that also bore the brunt of destructive typhoons are offering help to victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong.”
On Monday, Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman issued a memorandum encouraging city officials and employees to donate whatever aid they could to those who were affected by flash floods in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities.
In Manila, Mayor Alfredo Lim said that the money to be used for the city’s annual fireworks display to celebrate the New Year would be donated instead to the typhoon victims.
De Guzman in his memorandum said, “We know how it is to go through such agony having experienced it ourselves on Sept. 26, 2009, when [Tropical Storm] ‘Ondoy’ unleashed its fury and left a great part of our city in a sordid state.”
He added, “And we also know how alleviating it is to receive relief assistance from those who care.” The Marikina mayor admitted a few months ago that the city had yet to fully recover from the destruction wrought by Ondoy.
As of December 25, the death toll due to Sendong has soared to more than 1,000.
“It is in this light that we are seeking your kindness by making donations whether in goods or in cash… Now is the time to return the favor by helping and sharing,” De Guzman said.
He said all donations to be received by his office would be dispatched to the two affected cities.
Meanwhile, Rizal Governor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III has asked the provincial board to convene a special session to tackle a resolution granting financial aid to local government units affected by Sendong.
The resolution also authorizes Ynares to release a portion of the province’s local disaster risk reduction and management fund.
The government said the provincial government employees have started collecting used clothes to send to the flood victims.
The City of Manila, on the other hand, is donating P1 million each to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.
Lim said he would be leaving it to the officials of the two affected areas to decide what the money should be spent on, depending on the most urgent needs of the typhoon victims.
At the same time, he offered this message to the mayors of the two areas: “I’m sorry I can’t greet you a Merry Christmas because I know you and your constituents are in mourning, especially those affected by the floods.”