Cebu LGUs, business mobilize aid for victims

Posted on December 12, 2012


Cebu is answering the call for donations to the provinces struck last week by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

While Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the city would donate P1 million, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Capitol will provide assistance in kind and cash but hasn’t finalized the amount yet.

Garcia said she tasked the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to coordinate with affected towns in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

The Mandaue city government is cancelling its Christmas party to donate the budget for typhoon Pablo victims.

They did the same thing last year when typhoon Sendong struck in December. The amount for Pablo victims will be coursed through the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Coucnil, said Jamaal James Calipayan, executive secretary to the mayor.

But city officials and Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes will have a Christmas get-together and “community build” for 60 families living in a 6.5-hectare relocation site for informal dwellers on Dec. 17.

Business groups in Cebu are holding donation drives for typhoon Pablo victims.

Philip Tan, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said the Rotary International will meet on a relief project for Mindanao victims that they target to start within the week.

“We will be sending food, clothing through vessels and perhaps do some housing projects. Initially we are looking at relief aid of P2 million,” Tan said.

Gothong Southern Shipping has offered the use of its vessels to ship relief goods for free to Mindanao, ABS-CBN reported. George and Peter Lines is also accepting relief goods for ferrying to Dapitan.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry started accepting donations to be distributed to affected residents in southern Cebu towns ike Boljoon within the week.

Jun Yap, Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter president, said his group will send letters asking members to donate relief goods especially food and clothing to be sent to Mindanao.

“Due to the very busy schedule of the retailers, we were unable to meet because December is a peak season for us. I will be routing the letter by next week and hopefully we can already send goods,” said Yap.

Governor Garcia said the Capitol would donate as well even if she was criticized before for allocating cash for cities and provinces that were hit by typhoon Sendong last year and earthquakes.

The Commission on Audit (COA) wrote the Capitol last August asking whether the fund disbursement of P29 million in calamity funds, which included assistance to provinces outside Cebu was approved by the Provincial Board (PB).

The governor said there was “no need” to seek prior PB approval because the P29 million was part of the P87 million standby calamity fund of the province’s annual budget.

Her critics accused her of using the calamity fund donations and visiting typhoon-afflicted provinces as part of her early campaign bid for a Senate seat.

Garcia changed plans and announced in September that she would instead run for congress in Cebu’s 3rd district. /Correspondents Carmel Loise Matus and Jucell Marie P. Cuyos and Reporter Aileen Garcia-Yap

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