House to raise at least P1.5 million for Batanes earthquake victims

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has kicked off a donation drive among its members to aid victims of the twin earthquakes that rocked Batanes over the weekend.

In a statement on Tuesday, July 30, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said each lawmaker was expected to donate a minimum of P5,000 from his or salary. This means the House, with 300 members, will be able to raise at least P1.5 million.

Romualdez said the total donation for the Batanes earthquake victims may still go higher as there were lawmakers who would give bigger donations.

“This is just the minimum amount pegged by the House resolution. The contribution may even reach P3 million up to P5 million, as some congressmen have indicated willingness to donate P50,000 to P100,000 from their salary,” said the Leyte 1st District representative.

During the House session on Monday, July 29, lawmakers adopted House Resolution (HR) No. 139 expressing its “profound sympathies and deepest condolences to those affected by the twin earthquakes that hit Itbayat, Batanes on July 27, 2019.”

HR 139 also urged the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and other concerned government agencies to “expedite humanitarian assistance and restore normalcy to the affected areas.”

The resolution was penned by Romualdez, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. 

On Monday, House Deputy Majority Leader and Pangasinan 4th District Representative Christopher de Venecia also made a manifestation that a signature sheet be circulated among House members so they can write down the amount of their voluntary contribution.

The twin earthquakes killed a total of 9 people in Batanes as of Monday. President Rodrigo Duterte, who visited Batanes on Sunday, July 28, also vowed to give P40 million to the province. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.