METRO Manila mayors have unanimously agreed to release P100 million to help local government units (LGUs) affected by typhoon “Odette.”
Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said that the Metro Manila Council (MMC), through a resolution, agreed to release the fund from the savings of the agency to extend assistance to the affected areas.
“We are going to prioritize local government units stricken by tropical cyclone wind signal number 4 of typhoon Odette,” Abalos said.
Severe damage across the Visayas region and several provinces in Mindanao was reported following the typhoon’s onslaught.
“This financial aid will help especially in these trying times. It’s Christmas after all, a time of sharing and giving,” Abalos said.
According to him, they opted to provide financial aid to help out typhoon-affected LGUs with their efforts to recover from the severe damage inflicted by “Odette” instead of relief goods because it is difficult to transport in and out of the localities hit by the typhoon, and several flights remain cancelled.
“Affected LGUs are in the best position to decide how the fund can provide for the immediate needs of their constituents. We hope this aid will somehow alleviate the plight of the typhoon victims,” said Abalos.
The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.
Meanwhile, the MMDA has deployed personnel to assist in the disaster response operations in areas that suffered severe devastation wrought by typhoon “Odette.”
A team of 62 personnel from the agency’s Public Safety Division (PSD), Road Emergency Group (REG), Metro Parkways Clearing Group (MPCG), and Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office was sent to Bohol on Sunday. They also brought chainsaws, floating pumps, generator sets, tool sets, and water purifiers, tankers, etc.
The team was also deployed in Tacloban City, Maasin, Sogod municipality in Kaitagan Bontoc, and Isla Limasawa in Southern Leyte.
Ahead of the typhoon, the MMDA deployed a contingent in response to the request of the provincial government of Sorsogon. Abalos said he approved the request of Acting Sorsogon Governor Manuel Fortes Jr. to preposition the MMDA’s team in the province in anticipation of typhoon Odette’s landfall.
Other teams from the agency’s Public Safety Division were also deployed in Panay region to help in search and rescue operations in areas badly hit by the typhoon.