Troops to conduct rehab works in Pablo-hit towns-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) deployed Friday its Joint Task Force (JTF) "Tambayayong" to conduct rehabilitation works in the areas affected by Typhoon Pablo in the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
EastMinCom chief Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia, in a press conference held at Camp Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City, said a total of 400 military personnel are divided to 40 teams called the "Panagdait Teams".
"The military personnel all come from the 4th Infantry Division (4th ID), 6th ID, 10th ID, Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM), the Philippine Marines and the 52nd Engineering Brigade," Segovia said.
The teams were dispatched in the hardest-hit towns of Baganga, Boston and Cateel in Davao Oriental and Monkayo, Compostela, Montevista, New Bataan and Laak towns in Compostela Valley.
Segovia said the Panagdait teams are set to repair around one to two houses in a week as they are targeting to fix 600 homes in a span of two months.
The Department of National Defense collected P1.143 million in donations for the procurement of construction materials.
Segovia also encouraged donors to donate galvanized iron (GI) sheets since most of the devastated houses had its roofs blown off by strong winds.
Task Force commander Col. Edgard Clerigo, in an interview at the sidelines of the press conference, said: "Mahirap talaga ang rebuilding process lalo na dito sa mga hard-hit areas dahil devastated talaga ang mga bahay. But we remain optimistic as long as we coordinate with the Local Government Units (LGUs)."
Clerigo added the primary objective of the JTF Tambayayong is to rebuild houses so that the evacuees can return to their homes and decongest the evacuation centers.
"Most of the evacuation centers are schools. Classes cannot resume because classrooms are being used. So hopefully if the evacuation centers will be vacated already after we rebuild the houses, classes will resume," Clerigo said.
In related development, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 11 head community base Perdita Dimakiling said in the same press conference that they are continuing to shell out cash assistance to the victims of Typhoon Pablo.
"We are giving P7,000 for those who have lost their relatives while we the cash assistance given to those who are injured will depend on the cost of their hospitalization," Dimakiling said.
Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon, in the same press conference, said the priority concern of the local government is to establish 1,000 houses to reduce the population in the evacuation centers.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Davao Region Director Mariano Alquiza, on the other hand, has already requested some P950 million budget for the rehabilitation of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Province.
"The budget has not been approved yet but we just need to finish the plans and program by next week so that the budget will be approved," Alquiza said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 13, 2013.