By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Ma. Leonor (Leni) Robredo said she would return to Albay province on Friday, February 2, to help the communities affected by Mayon volcano’s eruption.
Robredo, a native of Bicol, will set foot in Albay with the second batch of donations from the partners of her flagship antipoverty project, Angat Buhay.
“Nakapagbigay na kami ng tulong halos sa lahat na nine LGUs na affected, pero patuloy iyong pagdating ng donations sa aming opisina (We already provided aid to almost all of the affected LGUs, but the donations continue to come in to our office),” she said.
The Vice President is set to deliver additional food supply and more mats, blankets, and toiletries for evacuees who fled their homes due to the eruption of Mount Mayon.
Before her second visit to Albay, the Office of the Vice President was able to give 23 portalets pledged by Angat Buhay partners in the municipalities of Camalig and Guinobatan.
Robredo’s office also previously turned over P2.295-million worth of relief goods, including 4,100 food packs and 410 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).
The Vice President cited the lack of toilets in evacuation centers, with the growing number of displaced residents.
Albay local officials said that an average of 200 people share one toilet at the shelters, noting that it could give rise to more illnesses among evacuees.
“Nagko-call pa tayo ng donations, kung sinong puwedeng magpahiram nang libre ng portalets pa (We call for donations and those who can provide more free portalets),” Robredo said.
“Ang priority natin, kung mayroon pang darating, iyong Daraga saka Legazpi, kasi ito—iyong Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Legazpi—iyong number ng evacuees napakarami (Our priority, if more will arrive, is Daraga, including Legazpi. Because these—Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Legazpi—where the number of evacuees are too many),” she added.
Robredo repeated her call to the government to look for and implement a long-term approach to natural disasters like building permanent evacuation centers.
She said the perennial use of schools as evacuation centers has affected the operation of schools in the aftermath of calamities.
“Iyong Albay, pati iyong buong Bicol region, daanan talaga tayo ng calamities. Dapat mas permanenteng solusyon na ang kailangang hanapin (Albay and the entire Bicol region are really the passage of calamities. We should look for a more permanent solution),” said Robredo.