Duterte pledges P40M for quake-hit Batanes
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday vowed to provide P40 million to Itbayat, Batanes after it was struck by twin earthquakes last Saturday.
During his visit at the quake-hit area, disaster officials briefed Duterte of the situation and the actions being undertaken by various government agencies to assist the affected residents.
“I’ll give you the 40 million (pesos). Okay, I’ll give you the 40 million. Who is in charge here? You, mayor. I hope you’d put it to good use. The 40 million would bring you something like small clinic, hospital since you are not many here,” he said after a local health official sought for the repair of a hospital in Itbayat, which became "structurally unstable" after the earthquake.
He said he was not keen on repairing anymore the hospital as it could be more expensive.
Duterte said the P40 million could also be used in the construction of houses.
Some 15 houses, two schools, and two health facilities also incurred damages due to the quakes.
According to the initial assessment of the Department of Public Works and Highways, damage to properties amounted to P79 million.
Meanwhile, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson Eduardo del Rosario informed the President that they would provide housing assistance to the victims.
“We can immediately provide 30,000 (pesos) for each totally damaged houses and 20,000 (pesos) for partially damaged and this can be done within the week,” Del Rosario said.
Duterte also asked Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director and Office of the Civil Defense Administrator, to provide continuous assistance to the victims.
“Just make sure that your supply line is working so that nobody gets hungry and people are not short of supply,” he said.
Jalad assured that the government has enough supply for the affected residents.
Eight people died, one was reported missing and scores were hurt due to the twin earthquakes that jolted Batanes early Saturday morning. Ella Dionisio/DMS