STO. TOMAS, Batangas, Jan. 21 (PIA)- President Rodrigo Duterte assured displaced Batanguenos that the government will be giving its all-out support throughout the ordeal of the Taal Volcano eruption.
The President headed the distribution of goods to evacuees at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Sto. Tomas Campus this January 20 along with Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Department of National Defense Secretary, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Ronaldo Joselito Bautista and Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano.
Government calamity assistance distributed during the program included family food packs, cash assistance, animal feeds and assorted seedlings for coffee, cacao and mango among others.
The Provincial Government of Marinduque also donated sleeping mats, blankets and t-shirts.
Towards, the latter part of the program, President Duterte expressed his empathy towards Batanguenos affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
He also assured the evacuees that the government has funds to help them and it is only a matter of distribution
"I'd like to assure that the Department of Agriculture would provide agricultural assistance since we understand and acknowledge that this is one of your main sources of restoration," President Duterte said.
The President also stated that he urges congress to put up large-scale evacuation centers in disaster prone areas including Batangas, among others, in the event of another disaster which would require residents to take up shelter elsewhere.
"We cannot tell when Taal will erupt but in the meantime that we are expecting another eruption, it is better to put up an evacuation center which is why it would be better if congress can provide the money together," he stated.
He added that he is also urging congress to pass a supplemental budget to serve as aid for victims of Taal volcano's eruption in Batangas and other nearby provinces.
"Pinapaabot ko sa inyo ang aming damdamin. Buong Pilipinas. Kami po ay nagdaramdam sa inyo pinsala but you can be sure that government can respond dahil ang pera ng tao nandiyan talaga nakikita niyo. At may pera tayo. Wag po kayong mag-alala," the President stated.
President Duterte also assured that every single centavo will be given directly to the beneficiaries. (GG/PIA4A)