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PIA Press Release
2009/06/22

Immediate passage of P8-B Paglaum Fund sought

Iloilo City (22 June) -- The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council VI (RDCC VI) during a meeting yesterday called on the Senate to immediately pass House Bill No. 4824, a year after Typhoon "Frank" wrought havoc in the region.

RDCC VI approved the resolution urging the Senate to fast track the passage of the pending bill that contains the P8-billion Paglaum Fund intended for the rehabilitation of areas damaged by "Frank".

"The passage of the bill is urgently needed to completely restore, particularly in Panay Island the food basket of the region," said RDCC 6 Chair, Police Regional Office 6 Director P/CSupt. Isagani Cuevas in his message during the joint RDCC VI-Task Force Bangon Panay Meeting in time for the commemoration of Typhoon "Frank" anniversary.

It will be remembered that in June 21, 2008, Typhoon "Frank" with a maximum sustained wind of 190 KPH near the center aggravated by the flashing flood as high as 15 feet in low lying areas of the provinces of Iloilo and Aklan, claimed lives, destroyed houses, lashed on infrastructure and agriculture of Western Visayas.

Cuevas reported that "Frank" affected 2,674 barangays and 360,516 families, of whom 827 left their homes and eventually left homeless. It killed 274 people and injured 1,523 others while 174 people remain missing.

The cost of damages reached billions in agriculture: P1,279,633,259.23 on crops; P3,746,442,830 on fisheries; and P31,324,536 on livestock.

Also, billions worth of infrastructures were damaged and destroyed: P906,217,520 of health and government facilities;P2,187,555,056 of roads and bridges; and P221,810,000 of school buildings.

"A year after, the region is still struggling towards recovery. A year after, the people of Western Visayas is still hoping for the release of the promised rehabilitation fund. And we still confidently hope that the Senate Bill 5064 and its counterpart House Bill 4824 will be passed," said Cuevas, adding, "to restore Panay Island and eventually the whole Western Visayas we need billions". (PIA) [top]

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