Politicians send aid to ‘Yolanda’ survivors
TACLOBAN CITY—Add Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, Sen. Ralph Recto, former Sen. Manny Villar and former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to the list of personalities who have given assistance to the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in Eastern Visayas.
Santos, a multiawarded actress, donated P1 million to the provincial government of Eastern Samar on Dec. 17 through her close aide, Lilianda Bolilia, reports from the regional office of the state-run Philippine Information Agency said.
She extended cash assistance of P7,000 each to 127 families in Balangkayan town, one of the severely affected towns in Eastern Samar.
On Dec. 13, Villar donated P8.1 million for survivors in Ormoc City and Palo town, according to his staff, lawyer Ma. Pamela Gako. She did not give details on how much was given to each local government unit.
The financial aid was on top of the relief packages Villar had given to typhoon survivors in Tacloban City.
Estrada donated P5 million during his brief visit on Dec. 14 at Tacloban City Hall. The amount was accepted by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and would go to a special trust fund for the city’s rehabilitation, city administrator Tecson John Lim said.
The city government reported earlier that it received financial assistance amounting to P15 million from other local government units in the country, including those coming from private individuals.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), around 850,000 families or over 4.2 million individuals in Eastern Visayas were affected by Yolanda.
The massive tragedy that hit Tacloban and other parts of Leyte, Eastern Samar and Samar provinces resulted in an outpouring of assistance from international and local humanitarian groups.
International personalities and world leaders also visited Tacloban. Among them were UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, teen idol Justine Bieber, world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, Miss World 2013 Megan Young and US State Secretary John Kerry.
As of Dec. 12, a total of P23 billion in foreign aid has been pledged, with around P600 million actually received, the Neda reported.
More than 60 countries, together with multilateral organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, European Union, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, United Nations and the World Bank, have been providing financial, material and logistical support.
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