3 quake-damaged bridges still impassable
MANILA, Philippines - Three of the 37 earthquake-damaged bridges in Bohol and Cebu remain impassable.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said they are now being restored to allow the delivery of relief goods to victims.
Rey Balido, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesman, said the Department of Public Works and Highways is repairing Hualong, Abatan and Tuguani bridges.
Bohol, the hardest hit province in the Visayas, had a total of 44,781 damaged houses. Other affected provinces accounted for only 860, for a total of 45,641 damaged houses.
Bohol incurred the most damage at P763 million.
The Armed Forces flew 16 missions to deliver 308 tons of relief goods.
The national government also delivered generator sets, water purifiers, tents, medical equipment and supplies. A total of 50,000 pounds of relief was delivered in two flights yesterday.
The Navy made 20 sorties to deliver a total of 512,397 pounds of assorted relief. The OCD will be handing out immediate financial assistance: P10,000 for the family of each deceased and P5,000 each for the injured. The Department of Health has sent 20 hospital tents to the towns of Maribojoc, Loon, Sevilla, Sagbayan, Catigbian, Buenavista and Governor Gallares Memorial Hospital in Bohol. Helicopters will deliver relief goods to impassable areas.
The national government has bought about P103 million worth of food items, including drinking water, good for five days.
Aquino: Calamity fund depleted
President Aquino said yesterday the calamity fund was already depleted, and that part of the P20-billion savings of the government would have to be used for the recovery of Bohol and Cebu.
Speaking to reporters in Parañaque City, Aquino said the administration has only P176 million in calamity funds left because parts of it had been allocated for the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City following the armed conflict and the flooding from monsoon rains.
“Bottom line is, there is a P7-billion request and savings we have about P20 billion,” he said.
“As for the contingency... current calamity (fund) has P176 (million) remaining balance, contingency (fund) has P824 million, so that’s roughly about a billion, so not enough.”
Aquino said he was asked to release P7 billion for various departments and agencies, and the DPWH alone would need about half a billion to repair bridges and other infrastructure that the earthquake had damaged.
SC asked to stop DAP use
The Supreme Court (SC) was asked yesterday to stop Malacañang from using the DAP to augment relief and rehabilitation operations in earthquake-devastated provinces in Central Visayas.
In an urgent motion, former lawmaker Augusto Syjuco Jr. said the assailed funds must not be touched since its legality is pending at the SC.
Syjuco asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from touching the DAP for aiding victims of the earthquake.
Syjuco is among the five petitioners questioning the DAP’s constitutionality.
Binay assists victims
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has handed out 8,000 bags of relief goods to families in Bohol that the earthquake had affected.
Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier sent a team to the province to aid in relief operations after he had visited to inspect the damage.
German, South Korean aid
Germany has pledged P13.7 million in humanitarian aid for the victims of the earthquake.
South Korea will give $200,000 in cash for Zamboanga City and $300,000 for Bohol and Cebu. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Mayen Jaymalin, Zinnia dela Peña, Edu Punay, Pia Lee-Brago