BBM: Gov’t can help Mayon evacuees

VISIT TO EVACUEES. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. visits the evacuees affected by the ongoing unrest of Mayon Volcano at the Guinobatan Community College in Guinobatan town, Albay province on Wednesday (June 14, 2023). Marcos also distributed family food packs, bottled water and non-food items to the evacuees. (PNA photo by Alfred Frias)

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said  the government is “sensitive” to the needs of Albay residents displaced by Mayon Volcano’s ongoing eruption and will tap all its available resources to help them.

“Whatever is needed, we will have to provide,” he told media reporters on the sidelines of the International Trade Forum at the Shangri-La The Fort in Taguig City, when asked if the government has enough funds to provide relief assistance to the evacuees.

“Many are extending help. All agencies are already engaged in their rehabilitation effort, in support for the evacuee,” he said, adding that the government is ready to provide both cash assistance and mental health support.

The President pointed out that affected individuals, including children, might need mental health and psychological assistance. “We have to identify the problem and address them,” he said.  

“There are issues that are basically not quantifiable but they are important. The issues of mental health of those children, even the parents, we need to think about them because they are in a difficult situation. We have to give all the support we can,” he added.

Marcos said he has instructed concerned agencies to “carefully” study the distribution of monetary aid to the affected residents of Albay where he visited Wednesday to check on the operations of the various responding state agencies.

Mayon Volcano’s increasing activity has compelled nearly 18,000 individuals to seek shelter in evacuation centers. He visited the Guinobatan Community College evacuation center to assess the condition of the displaced families and also led the distribution of government assistance.

Marcos said concerned government agencies must prepare to cover 90 days of relief assistance, or the estimated maximum period of unrest of the volcano, to take load off local government units. (With PNA)