ALBAY, Philippines – With the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano, local governments in Albay are making sure the emotional well-being of evacuated families are served in their disaster response plans.
For one, Governor Joey Salceda is providing free hotel rooms to married evacuees so they don’t have to go back to their houses at the foot of the restive volcano to have their private time.
The married couples are given are given access cards after some verification of their status.
Salceda said disaster risk reduction is “a way of life that enables human development to proceed in the midst of risks” and that no one should lose their lives – or the need for intimacy with their spouses – in times of disasters.
In the cities and towns around Mayon, officials are providing psycho-social care to evacuees by bringing in various forms of entertainment.
In Ligao City, 3rd district Representative Fernando Gonzalez and Mayor Patty Gonzalez-Alsua brought along a mascot of Dora the Explorer to play with children in evacuation camps.
The mayor said evacuees need not only shelters but entertainment to get rid of their anxieties. At night, evacuees are treated to movies on the big screen installed by the city government in public schools in the villages of Tuburan and Binatagan.
The congressman said the singing contest they started in these centers – “Patiribayan sa Ligao-Evacuation Center Edition” – will also help evacuees fight off homesickness.
At least 11,255 families or 51,963 persons living within the 6-7-kilometer danger zone in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto. Dominigo, and Malilipot, and the cities of Ligao and Tabaco had been evacuated by government since Mayon showed activity last week.
Governor Salceda said the provincial government needs at least P300 million to support the needs of Mayon evacuees if they are to stay in evacuation centers for 90 days in order to attain the zero casualty goal.
Mayon Volcano’s alert status remains at Alert Level 3, which means a hazardous eruption is possible within weeks.
In Guinobatan town, evacuees are complaining of lack of clean drinking water. Mayor Gemma Ongjoco admitted that no matter how prepared for disaster the local government unit was, the supply of potable water in the schools-turned-evacuation camps was still insufficient for 2,637 families or 11,881 people.
The evacuation centers also lack of enough comfort rooms, she said.
“We are doing all the best we could, but we need assistance from other agencies to provide sufficient water supply for drinking and hygienic purposes,” the mayor said.
Evacuees meanwhile are trying to be as resourceful as possible while they have to temporarily abandon their sources of income. Rosario Orpiana, 52, of Sitio Mabualud in Guinobatan town, brought her sari-sari store, selling goods at the evacuation center where she and her family are staying.
Her husband Hilario, 52, like other men, return to the village in the morning to watch over their houses and farmland at the foot of the volcano against possible looters. – Rappler.com
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.