Cebu City to send P3M aid to 2 Kanlaon-affected LGUs

Cebu City Hall.
Cebu City Hall.File photo

THE P7 million financial assistance promised by the Cebu City Government for the local government units (LGUs) on Negros Island affected by the eruption of Mt. Kanlaon, an active stratovolcano, on June 3, 2024, has been reduced to P3 million.

During the regular session on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the Cebu City Council approved the P1 million aid for La Castellana in Negros Occidental and P2 million for Canlaon City in Negros Oriental.

Thirteen councilors voted in favor of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (CCDRRMC) resolution requesting the council to approve the aid for the two LGUs. Only City Councilor Nestor Archival abstained from voting.

Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia earlier announced that a total of P7 million in aid will be given to six LGUs on Negros Island—P1 million each for Bago City, La Carlota City, La Castellana, Moises Padilla (Magallon) and Pontevedra in Negros Occidental; and P2 million for Canlaon City, Negros Oriental.

However, only La Castellana and Canlaon City declared to place their LGUs under a state of calamity. The four other LGUs did not.

Garcia, in a phone interview Wednesday, agreed with the council’s decision.

“Under our rules, we can only give to those who have declared a state of calamity,” he said.

Garcia said the disaster council resolution, which he approved on June 10, 2024, was on the condition that the towns where the City intended to give financial aid would declare a state of calamity.

“We cannot give financial assistance if they themselves did not declare a state of calamity. To us, it means they do not need our help,” Garcia said.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the town of La Castellana suffered production losses valued at P11,331,206.35, while the damage to agricultural production in Canlaon City amounted to P93,494,538.20.

In a separate phone interview Wednesday, City Councilor Joel Garganera, chairman of the committee on environment, said the financial aid will be drawn from the Annual Investment Plan of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund-Trust Fund 2022.

Councilor Joel Garganera, who chairs the committee on environment, said the financial assistance for Canlaon City and La Castellana is based on the respective damage reports from each town.

He said most of the damage in Canlaon City was agricultural in nature.

When asked if the funds originally intended for towns that did not declare a state of calamity would be reallocated to Canlaon and La Castellana, Garganera said the CCDRRMC decided to provide only P3 million in total for the two towns.

Last Monday, June 10, Garcia announced during a press conference that the City planned to provide P7 million in aid to several cities and municipalities on Negros Island, subject to the City Council’s approval. / AML

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