Lawmakers mull providing subsidies to ‘Sendong’ victims-A A +A
Friday, January 20, 2012
TWO lawmakers recently filed a bill that seeks to provide subsidies in the electric bills of residents in areas badly hit by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.
Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro) and Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abante Mindanao party-list) said House Bill 5685 seeks to provide the subsidies until the residents are fully recovered from the tragedy.
The two lawmakers said both cities need to be rehabilitated and be given all possible assistance, especially the residents.
“And one form of assistance is to give subsidies on their electric bills,” the Rodriguez brothers said.
They said some of the problems encountered by the affected residents are partial restoration of light and water, scarcity of drinking water, shelter, food and management of relief goods at the local command centers.
Also cited as a problem is the influx of many relief goods from donor agencies/companies resulting in the difficulty of storing these goods and the need to establish/improve relief distribution system and logistical mobilization.
Earlier, Councilor Ramon Tabor passed a resolution requesting all government and private institutions like the Cagayan de Oro Water District, Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co., Pag-IBIG, Social Security System, among others, to extend special benefits to their consumers and members affected by “Sendong”.
Based on the records of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as of December 27, 2011, “Sendong” affected 92,964 families or 641,098 persons.
The NDRRMC reported at least 1,249 deaths, 4,594 injured and that it has already lost count as to the number of persons still missing.
The NDRRMC also reported that there are a total of 42,325 houses damaged with 12,805 destroyed and 29,520 damaged.
In Cagayan de Oro City alone, 7,317 houses were destroyed while 12,635 were damaged.
The same report also stated that the cost of infrastructure and agricultural damage as of the moment amounts to P1,143,671,975. Of this amount, infrastructure damage cost P1,106,556,000 while agricultural damage total P37,115,975.
In Cagayan de Oro alone, P775 million worth of roads, bridges and other infrastructures were damaged and P9.9 million on health facilities.
The NDRRMC said the numbers are projected to increase as the debris is cleared and more search and rescue operations are conducted. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 21, 2012.