Taal Volcano eruption: House to help develop rehab plan for Batangas, Cavite, Laguna
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is set to develop a rehabilitation plan for affected cities and municipalities in Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna following Taal Volcano’s eruption.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has directed Rep. Lucy Torres, who chairs the House Committee on Disaster Management, to coordinate with other committees in the lower chamber in developing a rehabilitation plan for the affected areas.
Among the committees Torres was directed to coordinate with include Agriculture, Tourism and Trade and Industry.
“We know that the local government units and other government agencies are already handling the rescue and relief operations so Congress can focus more on planning for the rehabilitation efforts,” Cayetano said in a statement.
The rehabilitation plan, Cayetano said, will cover funding, logistical and operational support from various national government agencies.
“Different House committees and relevant government agencies as well as other urban planning experts can work on this plan to ensure that it is disaster-resilient and sustainable,” Cayetano added.
“We need to collectively develop for short-term and long-term plans to restore and rehabilitate the affected areas to reinvigorate tourism and business in the affected provinces the soonest time possible,” he added.
Budget for risk reduction and management
Under the 2020 General Appropriations Act, a total of P16 billion is allotted for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
This includes a P3.3 billion budget for aid and relief and rehabilitation services for those in areas affected by calamities and a P4.2 billion budget allocated for repair and reconstruction of permanent structures.
Cayetano asked the public to “stand strong” with those affected by the volcanic eruption as he urged the public to serve as volunteers for the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“We have seen the power of Filipino bayanihan spirit in the past natural calamities that we have experienced, even in the past South East Asian Games. The volunteers can make a difference in delivering programs and services,” Cayetano said.
Taal Volcano is still under Alert Level 4 which is characterized by “intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms, including harmonic tremor and/or low frequency earthquakes”.
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