LEGAZPI CITY – Albay Governor Joey Salceda has reiterated that the province is open to any assistance coming from private companies, non government organizations to help the immediate needs of economically displaced families brought by Juaning.
Salceda said that drinking water is the most important need of displaced families particularly in the municipalities of Polangui and Malinao.
Water facilities in this two municipalities were totally destroyed by floods during the onslaught of Juaning.
The province’s urgent need is drinking water for the most affected areas where the water facilities were totally destroyed by floods.
“Health is the second concern of the local government to respond for any potential water borne related diseases,” Salceda said.
The governor said that since Albay had been declared as an open province, private and public donors could distribute their food and non food assistance to the affected families.
“Water is the most important because the source is very limited at this point in time,” he said. Other important needs of affected families include medical commodities, school kits for displaced students both in elementary and secondary, kitchen utensils, clothing, hygiene kits for pregnant and lactating mother.
He also urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) to facilitate the provision of cash for work in order to prevent potential drop-outs among students in the tertiary level. “We need to provide financial assistance through a cash for work/ tuition fees of displaced tertiary students to arrest possible drop-outs,” he said.
He also reiterated his call to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to include in the crop insurance all small farmers affected by landslide and floods due to heavy rains brought by Juaning. “Inputs include crop insurance with planting materials and fertilizers as part of the recovery of farmers.”
As of Sunday, more than 200 evacuated families from barangay Sta Cruz, Libon are still at Agos Elementary School in Polangui, Albay.
Sta Cruz barangay chairwoman Lilia Rosanes said that the main concern of her evacuated constituents is drinking water. “We have no problem in terms of food assistance from the provincial government and other donors but drinking water is our main concern and the health of 9 pregnant women who are still in the evacuation center. “
Aside from 9 pregnant women at Agos elementary school, there are 26 lactating mothers in the area.
The provincial government has already deployed water purifying machine in Malinao town, however, in municipality Polangui there is difficulty in the purification of water because of mud. (Mike de la Rama/PNA)