BAGUIO CITY – The provincial government of Apayao expressed its gratitude to the local government of Baguio City for unselfishly rendering invaluable service to the Apayaos by giving aid in the relief efforts during the disaster response operation to those that were displaced by the disastrous effects of the previous continuous heavy rains brought about by the tail end of the cold front in the first week of December last year.
In a certificate of appreciation issued by Apayao Gov. Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang dated December 18, 2019, she underscored that the readiness of the Baguio City government to lend a hand in times of crisis and needs speaks of a high sense of concern for the welfare of others and echoing the true essence of public service which is a gesture worthy of praise and emulation.
It can be recalled that thousands of residents from the different parts of Apayao were evacuated from their homes during the wrath of the continuous heavy rains that prevailed in the province during the first week of December that compelled the provincial government to eventually declare a state of calamity because of the enormous damage that the said rains brought to life and limb.
Aside from the millions worth of damages that the heavy rains brought to the province’s infrastructure and agriculture, two people died and two others were reportedly missing during the wrath of the weather disturbance that opened the floodgates for the influx of assistance from both the concerned government agencies and local governments from different parts of the country.
Further, the continuous rains also resulted to the isolation of Calanasan town because of the numerous landslides that have been inflicted along the stretches of the various roadlines leading to one of the remotest towns of the province.
Upon learning of the enormous extent of damages that was inflicted by the continuous rains to Apayao, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, who also chairs the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), worked out the allocation of some P500,000 from the local disaster risk reduction and management fund which was in turn turned over to the Apayao Provincial disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) that represents the local government’s assistance to the calamity-stricken areas and in response to the appeal of the provincial government for aid.
The aforesaid amount was charged to the 30 percent quick response fund of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund considering that the same has not yet been allocated for specific programs, projects and activities as it is earmarked for the emergency needs of the CDRRMO during emergency situations that crop up in the city.
Earlier, the local government also provided financial assistance to the calamity-stricken areas in Batanes, Cagayan and Mindanao as a show of concern for areas that have been damaged by natural calamities and as a way to express the city’s gratitude to those that extended assistance to Baguio City when it was devastated by the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake.
Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, local governments are mandated to appropriate at least 5 percent of their annual budget as their local disaster risk reduction and management fund wherein 70 percent will be earmarked for preparedness and mitigation while 30 percent will be set aside as quick response fund.
By DEXTER A. SEE