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PIA Press Release

PGMA is back in Aklan to accelerate relief and rehab efforts

Kalibo, Aklan (3 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo returned here to oversee and hasten the ongoing relief distribution and rehabilitation efforts in the province which was the worst hit by Typhoon Frank last June 21.

The President arrived 4:30 p.m. at the Kalibo airport here after presiding over the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC 4) meeting in San Jose, Romblon.

The President immediately proceeded to Barangay Mobo and led the distribution of family packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) consisting of rice, noodles and canned goods at the barangay school's compound.

Warmly welcoming the President were some 1,000 residents led by Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez, Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebalde and Barangay Mobo Chairman Wendell Tayco.

Barangay Mobo, along with neighboring barangays Bakhaw Norte and Busuang Old, were the worst hit areas by floodwaters brought by the typhoon, with the water level reaching as high as 10 feet.

Brgy. Chairman Tayco said it was still a blessing that the rampaging floodwaters that lasted for more than two hours came at daytime at about 3 p.m.

But still, he lamented that two people were not saved from drowning, and his more than 1,400 constituents were all heavily affected.

"Nagpasalamat kami ng marami kay Presidente sa malaking tulong ng gobyerno," Tayco said.

The President assured Tayco of livelihood assistance, particularly in vegetable farming which the barangay is noted for.

The President said vegetable seeds would arrive tomorrow afternoon and the residents would be employed under the cash-for-work program for the cleanup of the barangay.

At the Kalibo airport yesterday afternoon, the President also led the distribution of 5,450 family packs, 58 boxes of assorted medicines, and 1,000 blankets for the affected families in the 17 towns of the province.

Gov. Carlito Marquez informed the President that more than 50 percent or 292,877 of the province's total population of 495,122 were affected by the typhoon.

The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) also reported that 12,805 houses were totally destroyed while 32,059 were partially damaged.

The President earlier tasked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to help clear the mud and other debris brought by floodwaters and strong winds.

The President was much applauded when she announced the provision of housing materials that would arrive within a week for those whose houses were totally destroyed by the typhoon.

The President also assured the arrival of the province's additional requirement of 2,000 bags of rice. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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