4K Ursula-affected households in Malay town to get aid
By Gail Momblan
ILOILO CITY (Philippines News Agency) — Around 4,000 households devastated by Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone) in Malay town, Aklan will receive financial assistance for rehabilitation and recovery, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) of Malay confirmed on Monday.
The local government of Malay was allowed to mobilize its Quick Response Fund to assist typhoon-hit households as the municipality was placed under a state of calamity on December 27.
Catherine Fulgencio, MDRRMO officer, said 20 percent of the population in the town was affected, which served as the basis to place the town under a state of calamity.
“Twenty percent of our population was affected, which means 4,000 plus affected households. We will give financial assistance to those affected and then restoration, rehabilitation, and recovery of the municipality,” she said in a phone interview.
One died when hit by falling debris while 28 others sustained minor injuries as the typhoon hit the municipality on Christmas Day. Financial assistance will be extended to those affected, Fulgencio confirmed.
“We will give a certain amount to families with partially damaged houses, and also a certain amount with totally damaged houses,” she said.
The amount that will be extended to devastated families will be determined by the local government unit on Tuesday afternoon as the record on the number of affected families will be finalized.
Fulgencio said Ursula left Malay with lessons that all stakeholders should unite to be prepared against any disaster. Considering the number of tourists attracted to the world-famous Boracay Island, she said tourism establishments and businesses should also do its share in boosting disaster preparedness measures.
“It is a lesson learned that no single office can handle a disaster. Everyone’s participation in disaster preparedness is needed,” she said.
Meanwhile, power interruption continues to be a challenge for the town. Toppled electricity poles and other damages on wirings has cut off the electricity since December 25, Fulgencio said. “The problem now is power. We need electricity so we use generators. Generators need diesel, that’s the challenge for us on how to maintain the tourism industry without electricity,” she said. The local government has released an advisory on Monday informing the public that the government is on top of the situation. “LGU Malay is also coordinating with banks and gas stations in the whole municipality to ensure the supply of cash and gas for both the mainland and Boracay Island. (The) Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Coast Guard is ensuring the safety of the transport of gas and generators,” the advisory states. Tourists who wish to visit Boracay Island are likewise reminded to take caution in walking in the streets at night time. “The island is still under rehabilitation, and there are still road works. May we remind the tourists to take caution especially when light is not available due to lack of power,” Fulgencio said. (PNA)