Rotary gives aid to La Castellana evacuees

Photos By Toks Lopez
Photos By Toks Lopez
Photos By Toks Lopez
Photos By Toks Lopez

Over a thousand remaining evacuees in two sites in La Castellana town received assistance from civic organizations led by the Rotary Club of Bacolod Central, along with the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) and the Negros Economic Development Foundation (NEDF). 

Rotary District 3850 Governor Mate Espina led the team that distributed food, clothing, linens, and hygiene kits to evacuees in St. Vincent’s High School and La Castellana Senior High School.

La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, along with Councilor Kent Magnabe thanked the groups and told them that while many evacuees already went home, they continue to serve around 2,900 individuals that remained in five evacuation sites until Phivolcs will deem it safe for them to go home. 

Mayor Mangilimutan said they remain at Level 2 because the numbers in the monitoring equipment of Phivolcs have not lowered down to a safe level for the evacuees to return home.  

“We have been thankful for the assistance we received from various local government units, business groups, and civic groups for the basic needs of our evacuees. What we are focusing on which may amount to billions, is the recovery phase,” the mayor said. 

Recovery assessment for Brgy. Sag-ang alone is already at P54 million. Last Monday, the mayor and her team sat down with the Office of Civil Defense to discuss the replacement of roofs for over 2,500 homes in Barangays Mansalanao and Cabagna-an that got damaged due to the ash fall. 

John De Asis, the town’s disaster officer said as of Sunday, “Sulfur emission is still at 3,900 which is more than ten times the normal level of 300 that’s why their operation continues to be 24/7 with the mayor hardly going home so she is on top of the situation.”

“There is no determination as well as to ash deposits which can cause lahar again that’s why we are on standby,” he added, although the mayor is hopeful that by the coming weekend, they will get the good news so people remaining in the evacuation sites can start their recovery process. 

Mayor Mangilimutan said the damage to crops is very extensive and will affect their major agriculture industries of banana and coffee. 

Espina said she was impressed at how the local government unit managed the evacuation site where families take turns manning the kitchen to cook their meals. 

Seeing so many young children affected by the disaster, Rotarians hired an ice cream vendor to spread a little joy to the kids and also turned over chocolates and candies to social workers for their children’s activities. 

Joining the “Operation Tabang” were Rotarians Toks Lopez, Joselito Sion, Dr. Mutya Varona, Atty. Juliana Carbon who also represented MBCCI, Rose Depra, Ditas, and Santi Joson of NEDF and their staff. 

Espina also thanked Rotary District 3850, Nepan Sales, Merczi Pasalubong, The Woodbridge Academy, and Assistant Governor Aaron Frank of D6250, Wisconsin, USA for helping in this mission.

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