House assures swift release of recovery aid in Sarangani’s quake-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has assured the immediate release of support fund for the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for communities affected by the magnitude 6.8 earthquake off Sarangani, Davao Occidental, last November 17.
The lower chamber said ACT-CIS Rep. Erwin Tulfo has already visited the affected areas in General Santos City and Sarangani province to assess the damage and identify the needs of the locals.
“I assure the people of Mindanao that the House of Representatives, in partnership with President [Ferdinand] Bongbong Marcos [Jr.], would move to mobilize resources needed for rehabilitation and recovery aid in areas greatly affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said in a statement.
For his part, Tulfo said that the lower chamber would also seek the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Quick Response Fund (QRF) for reconstruction and rehabilitation programs, as well as repair or replacement of damaged infrastructure facilities.
Citing the rough estimate of DPWH District Engineer Rey Francisco, Tulfo added that Sarangani would need at least P200 million to repair damaged infrastructure within the province.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the quake has so far affected 180 families or 1,509 individuals.
It likewise reported that the death toll due to the earthquake has climbed from seven to eight, while the number of injured has increased to 13.
To help the affected families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has so far distributed over P5.1 million worth of interventions and 6,500 food packs to locals in Sarangani Province and General Santos City.