Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the government to expedite its assistance to areas and families devastated by recent calamities to ensure the quick rehabilitation and rebuilding of lives.
De Lima who hails from Iriga, Camarines Sur, Bicol, likewise called for full public disclosure of the remaining balances of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and the President’s Contingent Fund, stressing that it should “not just be general statements that merely tell the public that there is no more balance, or there is very little left.”
“With less than two months in the implementation of the 2020 budget and billions of pesos left in the President’s Calamity and NDRRMC funds, the funds must swiftly reach the affected areas,” De Lima said.
“We have every right to demand for accountability from this government, especially from the one who promised in 2016 that he would lay down his life for his fellow Filipinos. Dismissing our calls as mere bashing by the opposition is not just ineptitude, it is neglect at its gravest,” she added.
The lady Senator further said she hopes that Filipinos will continue practicing “bayanihan” by working hand in hand with NGOs, LGUs and public officials to ensure that victims can stand on their own feet again.
For De Lima’s part, her Office has partnered with local government units, the religious community, and several organizations like Farther Together / JCI Philippines, Bunyog Pagkakaisa and the National Society of Parliamentarians to immediately send aid to areas devastated by recent typhoons.
They were able to distribute relief goods in Camarines Sur and Naga City in cooperation with the Office of Cong. Gabriel Bordado Jr. and Bunyog Pagkakaisa; in Tabaco City, Malilipot, Tiwi, Sto. Domingo, Guinobatan, Legazpi City and Daraga through Farther Together and other civic groups based in Albay; in Iriga City through the office of Mayor Adelaine Alfelor; in Buhi, Camarines Sur through the Office of Margarita Aguinillo; in Sorsogon through the Office of Gov. Chiz Escudero; in Catanduanes through Bishop Manolo delos Santos of the Diocese of Virac and citizens of Bato, Catanduanes.
Member of JCI Philippines Mandy Lana said that “our partners in JCI are very grateful. [B]ago pa tumulong yung mga local leaders dito sa Oplan Kaagapay, Sen. Leila was the very first to reach out. [They] actually set the momentum.”
Some of those who received aid took to social media to thank the Senator and express their appreciation for her generosity despite her current condition as a political prisoner under the Duterte regime.
“Salamat kay Senator Leila de Lima. Kahit nakakulong, di niya nakakalimutang tulungan ang mga kababayang Bikolano na sinalanta ng Super Typhoon Rolly,” a post from Facebook user Enzo Recto read.
“Naiiyak ako because incarcerated Senator Leila sent her financial help, message and prayers for the Albayanos affected by the calamity. Kung sino pa ang nakakulong, siya pa ang tumutulong,” said Ofelia SamarSy on Facebook.
Meanwhile, in a personal message coursed through De Lima’s staff, Bishop delos Santos gave his “profound thanks” to the Senator “for her thoughtfulness and generosity towards Catandunganons.”
As of writing, the office of Senator De Lima is now coordinating with other organizations and institutions in facilitating relief operations to victims of typhoon Ulysses, particularly in Marikina, Navotas, Cagayan and Isabela.
“Sa harap ng sunod-sunod na sakuna, magdasal po tayo’t magkaisa para tulungan ang mga kapwa nating nasalanta at hanggang ngayo’y nangangamba para sa kanilang pangangailangan at kaligtasan,” De Lima said. (30)