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Mayon-affected families get P12-K each from DSWD

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 5 (Bicol) has begun distributing P71 million in cash assistance to 5,770 families affected by Mayon Volcano’s unrest.

In an interview Saturday, DSWD-5 spokesperson Marygizelle Mesa said the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program would be for seven local government units (LGUs) in the province of Albay.

“The families started to receive P12,330 each. On Friday, we distributed in the town of Ligao City and Guinobatan town. Today (Saturday), our personnel distributed the ECT in the towns of Camalig and Daraga and Tabaco City, and Sunday for Sto. Domingo and Malilipot,” Mesa said.

She said the assistance is part of the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian to provide financial assistance to all families in and outside the evacuation areas in Albay.

GOV’T AID. Families in Camalig town, Albay province affected by the ongoing Mayon Volcano unrest receive government aid on Saturday (July 15, 2023) through the Emergency Cash Transfer program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development 5 (Bicol). A total of 5,770 families will receive P12,330 each. (Photo courtesy of Camalig Information Office)

Elenita Solano, 55, of Barangay Quirangay in Camalig town, one of the beneficiaries of the ECT, told the Philppine News Agency that she would use the money for their farm.

“May pandagdag na kami sa pagpapatanim sa lupa naming. Salamat sa DSWD, salamat President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Malaking tulong na po ito sa amin. Hindi mo kami pinapabayaan (We now have additional funds for farming. Thank you DSWD, thank you President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. This is a big help for us. You did not neglect us),” Solano said.

Arco Nierva, a 31-year-old sili (native chili) farmer and construction worker from the same village, said the cash aid would be used for his children’s schooling.

“I’m very thankful. It’s a big amount for us. I have money for the upcoming school enrollment of my children. We can buy their school supplies,” Nierva said.

He added that his family also received a P5,000 cash assistance from DSWD through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS)

The ECT payout was based on the master list of LGUs and has separate guidelines from the AICS.

Names with discrepancies will be scheduled with the corrected names as validated and assessed by the Local Social Welfare and Development Office concerned, Claudio Villareal, DSWD Bicol disaster risk management division chief, said in a text message.

“Iba-iba ang pangangaipuhan kan kada pamilya, kaya yading assistansya hale sa gobyerno gamiton ninyo sa kapaki-pakinabang na bagay (Every family has different needs, that’s why you should use this assistance in very reasonable and appropriate things as it has no condition at all),” Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwyn Baldo said in another interview.

Alert Level 3 is maintained over Mayon Volcano, which means it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest and hazardous eruption within weeks or even days is still possible, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in an advisory on Saturday.

It is recommended that the 6-km. radius permanent danger zone remain evacuated due to the danger of pyroclastic density currents, lava flows, rock falls, and other volcanic hazards. (PNA)


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