MANILA – About 2,200 families are now relocated and staying in temporary evacuation centers in Albay following the imminent threat of Mount Mayon’s eruption. These families consume food bought with soldiers’ allowances.
According to Major Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Comman (Solcom), they have provided food packs that contained 1.5 kilograms of whole frozen chicken, a bag of winged beans (sigarilyas), a whole head of squash, and half kilo of dried fish to the families. The food packs were bought by the soldiers using their combined subsistence allowance.
He said that the soldiers gave up a day of their allowance of P90 to buy the items for the evacuees in Guinobatan East Central School and Mauraro Elementary School, both in Guinobatan town; and the Cabangan Elementary School in Camalig town.
They were able to get P602,000 from the soldiers.
“A burden shared becomes less of a burden,” said Solcom commander Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya.
Guzman also noted that the effort aims to help the local government of Albay given that they saw food as the primary concern among evacuees.
During Albay Gov. Joey Salceda’s birthday celebration at Guinobatan East Central School on Sunday, Col. Samuel Gayongorsa, Solcom’s chief of Unified Command Staff, and Col. Raul Farnacio, commander of 901st Infantry Brigade, gave the food packs for distribution.
“In terms of calamities especially during the restiveness of Mayon, attaining zero casualty is our main goal. Albay must not only be safe for tourists, for traders, but Albay must be safe for its own people,” said Salceda.
Salceda also noted that the provincial government, with the help of the National Housing Authority, already identified a possible permanent relocation area for the residents.
Aside from food packs, evacuees also get psychosocial care activities and medical and dental checkups from various government agencies.