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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Unity amidst calamity of Reming

By Aurora J. Casimpan

TACLOBAN CITY (5 December) -- The lethal fury unleashed by super typhoon Reming has left fatalities of unprecedented magnitude in the Bicol region. Said area has barely recovered from the ordeal of the earlier, devastation from the preceding super typhoon when it was struck again.

This time, the region is on its knees crying for help. It cannot rise by itself. It needs help. No amount of fingerpointing as to the culprit for the tragedy will help. What is needed is the collective efforts of all concerned to left the region from where it is mired.

The President has spoken and has ordered all necessary action to be concentrated on helping the fatalities. She has put the country in a state of national calamity due to the devastation in the Bicol region. Department of Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya will be releasing P1 billion calamity fund as per order of the President. The fund will be used in the search and rescue efforts and the recovery of affected places wrought by the typhoon.

Since the country has been calamity prone to typhoons, corrective measures are being set to avert disasters. Speaker Jose de Venecia has proposed a P12-billion typhoon standby fund available for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Part of the fund may be applied to extensive, honest-to-goodness hazard mapping to forewarn communities of danger. Also to be undertaken will be an assessment on the pyroclastic deposits on the gulleys of Mt. Mayon to ascertain the potential hazards and initiate proactive measures to avoid devastating mudflows in the future.

The big magnitude of disaster was on the mudflows rampaging from the slopes of Mt. Mayon where it buried properties and people. Expected death toll may rise to a 1,000 as recovery of bodies is still underway.

The President assured that all affected victims of the calamity will be taken cared and that deployment of personnel is underway to help in the recovery of bodies and the setting up of evacuation centers. (PIA) [top]

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