Public told to keep calm amid typhoon devastation

By Len Dancel

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has called for calm amidst the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Egay to many provinces in Northern Luzon, saying that the national government will do everything in its power to provide assistance to typhoon victims.

“President Marcos is doing everything he can to assist, help and provide assistance to Super Typhoon Egay victims. We want to make sure that at this time of extreme need, the people should feel that their government is with them,” Speaker Romualdez, leader of 312-strong House of Representatives, said.

“We have already raised funds for relief, and we are trying to raise more. We expressed gratitude to all first responders. What is important is we help bring back the lives of victims to normalcy,” he added.

Romualdez is set to visit Friday parts of the affected areas of the typhoon when he arrives from Malaysia to personally see the devastation wrought by Egay and join relief operations.

The fundraising efforts initiated by the Speaker and Tingog Party-list led by Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude Acidre have already reached P128.5 million in relief goods and financial assistance.

“Special thanks also go to the government officials, first responders and volunteers who are doing their best to respond to the disaster and save lives. Your volunteerism will not go unrecognized,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“This is the same Bayanihan spirit that allowed Tacloban City and the Eastern seaboard to recover and bounce back from Super Typhoon Yolanda almost 10 years ago. Truly when we are united in our objectives, there is nothing we can’t do,” Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez for her part said

P23.5 million of the P128.5 million raised comes from Speaker Romualdez’s personal calamity fund, raised partly from contributions from friends during his birthday celebration last year.

The other P105 million will come from DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program under Sec. Rex Gatchalian

The donations of P128.5 million will be distributed as follows:

1. Ilocos Norte, 1st District (represented by Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos): P1 million cash assistance, P2 million relief goods (5,000 packs), and P10 million AICS.

2. Ilocos Sur, 2nd District (Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan): P1 million cash, P2 million relief goods (5,000 packs), and P10 million AICS.

3. Cagayan, 1st District (Rep. Ramon C. Nolasco Jr.): P2 million cash, P4 million relief goods (10,000 packs), and P20 million AICS.

4. Cagayan, 2nd District (Rep. Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso): P1 million cash assistance, P4 million relief goods (10,000 food packs), and P20 million AICS.

5. Ilocos Sur, 1st District (Rep. Ronald V. Singson): P5 million AICS.

6. Cagayan, 3rd District (Rep. Joseph “Jojo” L. Lara): P1 million cash, P1 million in relief goods (2,500 food packs), and P10 million AICS.

7. Benguet, Lone District (Rep. Eric Go Yap): P10 million in AICS, P500,000 in cash assistance, and P1 million worth of relief goods (2,500 food packs).

8. Baguio City (Rep. Mark O. Go): P500,000 cash, P1 million in relief goods (2,500 food packs), and P10 million in AICS.

9. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin “Benjie” B. Magalong: P500,000 cash, assistance P1 million relief goods (1,250 food packs), and P10 million AICS.