By Lilybeth G. Ison
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Monday afternoon said he will be requesting the 285 members of the House of Representatives to allocate P1-million each from their priority development assistance funds (PDAF), commonly known as “pork barrel” fund, for typhoon victims in the country.
“On a longer term, we intend to request each of the 285 congressmen to allocate P1 million each from their PDAF to be used directly to help alleviate the areas that were devastated (by typhoons), the bulk of the use (will be given to) Cagayan de Oro and Iligan,” said Belmonte in a press briefing.
“I am confident our colleagues will support this move,” he said.
The Speaker earlier called on colleagues to donate at least P20,000 each from their salaries to the flood victims in some parts of Mindanao caused by typhoon “Sendong”.
“My office asks each congressman to contribute at least P20,000 cash. This is in addition to getting relief goods donations,” he said.
More than 600 people died in devastating flashfloods that struck Cagayan de Oro, Iligan cities and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas.
Belmonte said the Lower Chamber was also donating P1-million cash to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and P500,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) to be used in their relief operations.
The Lower House is also giving the three major television networks some P500,000 each for their respective donation drives to aid victims of the calamity.
Belmonte also said the House of Representatives is also accepting donations from anybody who would want to bring any relief goods.
In fact, the Speaker said, there are already several cavans of rice and boxes of used clothing and food items, which will be turned over to affected local government units.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez earlier said at least 20 villages in the 2nd district were affected by the flood.