Metro Manila mayors pool funds for ‘Odette’-affected LGUs
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila's mayors unanimously agreed Monday to release P100 million to help local government units affected by Super Typhoon Odette (international name Rai), the Metro Manila Council said.
In a joint resolution, the capital region's chief executives agreed to release the fund from the savings of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to extend assistance to the affected areas after the typhoon's onslaught caused severe damage across the Visayas and several provinces in Mindanao.
"We are going to prioritize local government units stricken by Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal Number 4 of Typhoon Odette,” said MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos. "This financial aid will help especially in these trying times. It's Christmas after all, a time of sharing and giving."
Abalos said that the mayors opted to provide financial aid instead of relief goods "because it is difficult to transport in and out of the localities hit by the typhoon and several flights remain canceled."
"Affected LGUs are in the best position to decide how the fund can provide for the immediate needs of their constituents. We hope this aid will somehow alleviate the plight of the typhoon victims," said Abalos.
As of this post, the local government units of Camarines Norte, Cebu, Bohol and Negros Occidental provinces have declared a state of calamity in their localities in the aftermath of the destructive effects of Supertyphoon Odette.
The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.
MMDA deploys personnel to assist in disaster response operations
A team composed of 62 personnel from the agency's Public Safety Division, Road Emergency Group, Metro Parkways Clearing Group, and Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office was sent to Bohol on Sunday and was also later deployed in Tacloban City, Maasin, Sogod municipality in Kaitagan Bontoc, and Isla Limasawa in Southern Leyte.
The teams also brought chainsaws, floating pumps, generator sets, toolsets, and water purifiers, tankers, and the like.
Ahead of the typhoon, the MMDA deployed a contingent in response to the request of the provincial government of Sorsogon.
Abalos said he approved the request of Acting Sorsogon Governor Manuel Fortes, Jr. to preposition the MMDA's team in the province in anticipation of typhoon Odette's landfall.
Other teams from the agency’s Public Safety Division were also deployed in Panay region to help in search and rescue operations in areas badly hit by the typhoon.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, over 181,000 families have been affected by Odette days before Christmas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development also said earlier Monday that over 480,000 are seeking shelter in evacuation centers, while 1.8 million Filipinos are listed as "affected" by the effects of Odette.
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