Duterte gives ₱20-M to Albay residents affected by Mayon eruption

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — President Rodrigo Duterte gave help to around 84,000 Mayon evacuees by way of a ₱20-million check.

The President handed it over to Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara during a briefing Monday, as he visited affected residents in the province.

"I'll give you initially today ₱20 million and I will augment it tomorrow by sending you about ₱50 (million). For the operation, lahat na, for pagkain [for food],"  the President said.

 

Duterte said he was also concerned about the sanitation and hygiene in evacuation centers, saying there should be facilities for such.

He raised the idea of setting up portable toilets to evacuation centers and stressed the importance of keeping them clean.

He added health, sanitation, and food are the most pressing concerns of evacuees.

Health officials, the President said, must monitor the health situation of evacuees as children are vulnerable to illnesses.

As of Friday, authorities said more than a thousand evacuees were suffering from coughs and colds, while a number of children were stricken with diarrhea.

Officials also said children, persons with disability, and senior citizens have become the most susceptible to illnesses.

RELATED: Officials: More Mayon evacuees getting sick

The President also said Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat are ready to distribute funds for agriculture, as farms have been affected by the eruption.

"If there's a shortfall or something, so let me know so that I can bring the matter to my office, so that somebody can move," he said.

On January 25, Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara expressed concern that funds meant for Albay were quickly running out, and asked for help from the national government.

READ: Albay gov't: Funds for evacuees of Mayon unrest running out

Days later, Duterte assured Bichara that funds had been sent.

DSWD: 4Ps recipients will continue to get benefits

During the event, Social Welfare Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco also said families may avail of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

"We have already met with officials of our regional office in the Bicol Region and we decided that we will call for the suspension of the conditionalities for 4Ps so that our beneficiaries can receive their cash grants without having to meet the conditions for the program," she said.

According to the Social Welfare Development, the 4Ps is a program that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly children aged 0-18 years old.

Families who are under this program must meet conditions set by the program for them to receive the grants. Among these conditions are sending children to school and making sure they have check-ups at health centers.

The DSWD in Region V reported that 6,114 households who are beneficiaries have been affected by Mayon's eruption. Of this, a total of 5,479 households are staying in evacuation centers.

Leyco also said they will implement its cash-for-work program to help residents staying in evacuation centers.

Mayon's unrest

Mt. Mayon began showing activity on January 13, prompting the provincial government to declare a state of calamity.

READ: TIMELINE: The Mayon eruption

The volcano remains under alert level 4, with state volcanologists warning of an imminent hazardous eruption.

On Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology confirmed it spotted lahar or volcanic mudflows in Mi-isi and Budiao channel traversing two towns in Albay.

READ: PHIVOLCS confirms lahar near Mayon amid heavy rains

CNN Philippines correspondents AC Nicholls and Makoi Popioco contributed to this report.