Lawmakers will donate a portion of their salaries for relief operations in Batanes, which was rocked by deadly earthquakes early Saturday morning.
In plenary session Monday, House Deputy Majority Leader and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia said a “signature sheet” will be circulated where House members can write the amount of their contribution to be deducted from their salaries.
In other developments:
*The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Tuesday appealed to the clergy and the faithful for donations to help the people and rebuild church structures in Batanes.
CBCP president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace, issued the solidarity appeal to other bishops, Social Action Center directors and the faithful to help them provide help to the victims of the twin earthquakes and to reconstruct the structures that had been damaged.
• Batanes has been placed under a state of calamity after the earthquakes that left nine dead, some 100 hurt and homes and other structures damaged.
Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco said they had tapped into the province’s calamity funds to buy relief supplies and construction materials for temporary shelters.
• The damage caused by a series of quakes that rocked Batanes on Saturday had risen to P282 million, Gov. Cayco said.
• Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday admitted that the disaster-response operations in earthquake-hit Itbayat, was sluggish due to the difficulty of reaching Batanes.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez of Leyte said the House “is going full blast in its donation drive to help the people of Batanes.”
“I just spoke with the Speaker [Alan Peter Cayetano] about the Batanes fund drive. It [contribution] has been the practice whenever a district is hard-hit by a calamity, in this case Batanes,” Romualdez said.
“This voluntary effort on the part of the congressmen to contribute has been done in the past through salary deduction. This has been initiated for the benefit of the casualties’ loved ones and the injured residents of Batanes.
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