By Jonathan Hicap
The Muntinlupa City government has sent relief packs and bottles of water to eight cities and municipalities in Batangas that were affected by the Taal Volcano eruption on Jan. 12.
Muntinlupa Social Services Department (SSD) head Analyn Mercado said the local government provided 3,417 grocery packs and 381 six-liter bottles of water to Batangas evacuation centers in Calaca, Alfonso, Nasugbu, Batangas, Bauan, San Pascual, Balayan, and Sto. Tomas on Jan. 15. This was done in coordination with the Batangas Incident Command Post in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City.
Each relief pack contained canned goods, water, rice, sleeping mats, utensils, clothes, and other non-food items. Mercado said an additional 300 sacks of rice and another 2,828 six-liter bottles of water will be distributed to evacuees in the following days.
The relief goods and water are in addition to the P3 million that the Muntinlupa City government has approved to give to Talisay, Laurel, and Agoncillo towns in Batangas through the initiative of Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and the city council.
Muntinlupa also sent a team of health workers and emergency services staff to Talisay to assist in rescue and relief operations.
The Muntinlupa City government is still accepting all kinds of donations at the Muntinlupa Resiliency Building at the Hall of Justice compound in Barangay Tunasan and at the city hall annex building. To donate, the public may coordinate with the SSD at (02) 8861-6223 and look for Mercado.
According to the Jan. 15 report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, there are 12,486 families or 53,019 persons affected by the Taal eruption in Batangas and Cavite. Of these, 10,000 families or 43,681 individuals are staying in 217 evacuation centers.
It is estimated that the eruption caused P74.54 million worth of damage to agriculture in Batangas and Cavite, including P73.95 million worth of damage to coffee.