Speaker Romualdez facilitates P40-M in aid to Kanlaon eruption victims

IN response to the recent eruption of Kanlaon Volcano on Negros Island, and following directives from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez is expediting the release of P40 million in aid to affected residents through two critical government social amelioration programs and P4 million worth of food packs from the Speaker’s Disaster Assistance Fund.

Speaker Romualdez announced that he has coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to allocate P20 million each under the Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), respectively.

“These funds will provide much-needed support to affected residents in Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, ensuring they have the resources to cope with the disruptions caused by the eruption of Kanlaon Volcano,” the Speaker said.

The leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives said the affected residents in the first district of Negros Oriental, represented by Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, and the fourth district of Negros Occidental, represented by Rep. Juliet Marie de Leon Ferrer, will each receive P10 million from AKAP and P10 million from TUPAD.

He said this substantial financial support is intended to help residents whose livelihoods and employment have been disrupted by the volcanic eruption.

AKAP is a program aimed at supporting those classified as “near poor,” such as minimum wage earners, to prevent them from falling below the poverty line.

TUPAD, on the other hand, is a community-based program that provides immediate relief to those facing economic hardships, including displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers.

Moreover, the House chief has allocated a total of P4 million worth of food packs, with P2 million designated for each district from his Disaster Assistance Fund, to address the immediate needs of the affected residents.

“By providing these food packs, we aim to meet the urgent needs of our communities and ensure no one goes hungry during this difficult time,” he stressed.

Speaker Romualdez emphasized the importance of President Marcos’ leadership in this effort, noting that his directive ensured a coordinated and efficient response.

“President Marcos’ directive was clear: we must act swiftly and decisively to provide relief to those affected by this natural disaster,”  Speaker Romualdez said.

“His commitment to the welfare of our people is unwavering, and this aid package reflects that dedication,” he added.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported that Kanlaon Volcano erupted explosively at 6:51 p.m. on Monday, June 3.

The eruption sent a massive plume of ash and gas 5,000 meters into the air and caused small flows of hot ash and gas to move 2-3 kilometers down the southern and southeastern slopes.

The eruption, which lasted six minutes, was preceded by a strong earthquake. Residents on the western slopes of the volcano reported ashfall and a strong sulfur smell.

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