By Lilybeth G. Ison
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called on his colleagues at the House of Representatives on Monday to donate at least P20,000 each to the victims of the mammoth floods in Mindanao caused by storm “Sendong.”
“My office asks each congressman to contribute at least P20,000 cash. This is in addition to getting relief goods donations,” the Speaker said.
More than 600 people died in devastating flash floods that struck Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas.
The Makabayan coalition said it is gathering relief for victims of storm Sendong. Relief operations are being coordinated with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region, Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitation Center, and Sentro Kitanglad.
“The residents attest that they were not forewarned and ordered evacuated,” said Makabayan spokesperson Liza Maza.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, in a phone interview with reporters, earlier said at least 20 villages in the 2nd district were affected by the floods.
Although relief items are pouring in, he said these can meet only 30 percent of the victims’ needs.
The AKO Bicol (AKB) party-list said it will no longer hold its annual Christmas party for its coordinators, supporters and friends, and instead, it is donating to the city government of Cagayan de Oro its P250,000 budget for the event to help the victims of storm Sendong.
“This might be a small amount compared to the tremendous damage caused by the typhoon, but this represents our token of solidarity to the victims of the disaster. We cannot in conscience celebrate the Christmas season and the year that passed in wanton disregard of our fellow Filipinos who are currently suffering from a devastation of this magnitude — an experience and feeling we fully well know when typhoon Reming devastated the Bicol Region in December 2006,” the group said in a statement.