Cayetano directs Lucy Torres to develop rehab plan for victims of Taal eruption

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano directed Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres, chairperson of the House committee on disaster management, to start developing a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to help the severely affected municipalities and cities in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna by Taal Volcano’s seismic activities.

He asked Torres to coordinate with other relevant committees in the House of Representatives like agriculture, tourism and trade and industry.

“We know that the local government units and other government agencies are already handling the rescue and relief operations so Congress can focus more on planning for the rehabilitation efforts,” Cayetano said in a statement.

“A comprehensive rehabilitation plan will entail funding, logistical and operational support from various national government agencies. Different House committees and relevant government agencies as well as other urban planning experts can work on this plan to ensure that it is disaster-resilient and sustainable,” Cayetano stressed.

“We need to collectively develop for short-term and long-term plans to restore and rehabilitate the affected areas to reinvigorate tourism and business in the affected provinces the soonest time possible,” he said.

The 2020 General Appropriations Act allocates a total of P16 billion for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

Out of this amount, there is P3.3 billion for aid and relief and rehabilitation services to communities affected by calamities and P4.2 billion allocated for repair and reconstruction of permanent structures including capital expenditures.

It also provides for P3.5 billion for Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program and P5 billion for Comprehensive aid to repair earthquake damage for Region XI (Davao Region) and Region XII (Soccskargen).

Cayetano also called for “bayanihan” amid the continuous volcanic activities and ash fall from Taal. He laments the loss of livelihood and damage to shelters to families living near the Taal Volcano.

“Let us stand strong with our countrymen who have been affected by Taal’s ash fall,” Cayetano said.