Cagayan governor appeal: Take aid to remote villages
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba has asked national government agencies to take their assistance to remote areas instead of requiring villagers to travel to town centers, to avoid road accidents.
Mamba made the request on Sunday, three days after an Elf truck carrying 44 farmers plunged into a 20-meter ravine in Apayao province, killing 19 of them and injuring 22 others.
The victims came from Rizal town in Cagayan, where they received cash aid, seeds subsidy and rice planting provisions from the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the local government.
Most of the farmers were residents of Barangay Lattut, also in Rizal, who took a shorter route in going home after getting the aid package.
Police said the truck’s engine stopped and its brakes failed while the driver was negotiating a steep section of the road at Barangay Karikitan in Conner town, Apayao, at 7:40 p.m. on Oct. 31.
Many roads in the provinces are rough and in hilly areas, making these prone to accidents, Mamba said.
Conner Mayor Martina Dangoy has directed the contractor to speed up the construction of the unfinished retaining wall at the crash site to prevent another accident.
She also asked motorists to avoid overloading and ensure extra diligence when driving.
Local DA officials had yet to explain why they had to require the farmers to travel for two hours for the seed distribution.
Fernando Villa, social welfare regional director, said the families of the fatalities were given P10,000 each as assistance. The DA and Cagayan government also gave separate cash aid to the victims and their relatives. —Villamore Visayas Jr.
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