By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY — The city council here has declared the city under a state of calamity after the lashing it took from Tropical Storm “Vinta” last week.
The city council also authorized Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to use the remaining P83.4 million for distribution to the storm victims.
The declaration was approved in a special session held Christmas Day at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
According to documents from the city government, there are at least 25 barangays out of the city’s 182, which were hardest hit by the storm last week.
Floods affected around 19,000 families, with some of them displaced by prolonged rains and swelling rivers.
While most of the floods have subsided, at least 150 homes upstream were carried away by the deluge.
Mayor Duterte said that the funds will cover requests for cash assistance, as well as the costs of medicines and food of the victims.
Representatives of health agencies such as the City Health Office (CHO) and the Department of Health (DOH), as well as the Davao City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) have been deployed to different evacuation centers to facilitate services for those affected by the floods.
DOH assistant secretary Abdullah Dumama, Jr., in an interview with Manila Bulletin, said that among the services provided by the agency is the mental health assistance to help victims cope with possible loss of property.
The P83.4 million is the last remaining portion of the fund for 2017 under the city’s quick response funds.
Allaying fears of depleted funds, Mayor Duterte said the City Mayor’s Office has an extra P30 million to funnel into emergency services, should there be an untoward incident in the next five days. “Simbako (God forbid),” she said.
According to city council documents, the city needs to fund for the cash assistance of 357 families whose homes were totally damaged, aside from 333 families whose homes were partially damaged.
Food assistance amounts to around P17 million, while medicine costs reached around P2 million.
Another P1.5 million was allocated for non-food items.