Robredo’s Angat Buhay program gives P1.5-M aid to Batanes earthquake victims
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo’s flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay has donated more than P1.5 million worth of food and other relief goods to residents affected by the Batanes earthquakes.
On Wednesday, July 31, the Vice President flew to Itbayat, Batanes, to assess the damage around the province as well as to distribute her office’s donation to the victims of the earthquakes, which caused the death of at least 9 people and damaged structures, including 10 schools.
The Angat Buhay program was able to purchase the following items for the earthquake victims through funding from its partner companies:
- P1.3 million worth of straw mats, food packs, and tarpaulins from the Church of the Latter-Day Saints Charities
- P80,000 worth or 500 units of 5-gallon bottled water from Manila Water Foundation
- P165,530.50 worth of medicines, an ECG machine, and teddy bears from various donors
The Vice President said her office also plans to kick off a fund drive among Angat Buhay’s partner organizations to help Batanes residents rebuild their homes.
"My office does not have any funds for aid like this. So the items we bring are donations from private organizations. We took a picture of one of the destroyed houses. We will launch a fund drive for them," Robredo told reporters in Filipino in Itbayat.
The Vice President said she and Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco agreed that there is a need to redesign the houses and other structures in the province, which were designed to withstand typhoons but not strong earthquakes.
"Maybe the engineering design has to be tweaked. They don't have metal bars. They're all made of stone," said Robredo.
"The schools, hospital, and church here in Itbayat were all ruined. So I hope we do not forget that in rebuilding and restoring these structures, the engineering design has to be changed as well," added the Vice President.