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GSD File Photo by Ben Serrano

Over 20,000 houses destroyed

By Ben Serrano,
SURIGAO City — A total of 26,029 houses sheltering some 23,907 families in 53 barangays here have been destroyed by the recent earthquake here, according to the latest assessment of ths city’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

City Mayor Ernesto Matugas, meanwhile, has written another “follow-up” letter to remind President Rodrigo Duterte of his promised P2 billion relief assistance to the people affected by the first earthquake that hit the city.

Official records from CDRRMC dated March 9 obtained by this paper that of the 26,029 houses, 412 have been totally destroyed while 25,617 houses were partially damaged.

“As of now some 30,000 city residents listed their names and seek official assistance from the city hall for construction materials for repair of their homes. We have not decided yet, on whether to give construction materials or cash assistance as our problem also is how to squeeze the limited funds that we have,” Matugas told the Gold Star Daily.

Matugas said they are facing a quandary at how to address the overwhelming problem.

“The problem we are facing now is not easy as every now and then I receive calls and text messages from the barangay chairpersons and some barangay officials, leaders from the field. As we explained the situation, our funds are very limited. They are asking where is the promised P2 billion aid from President Duterte,” Matugas said.

Matugas said he has no choice but has to officially write another letter to Duterte about his promised P2 billion aid.

“The problem is that thousands of Surigaonons were able to directly hear from his speech at the City Gym here and they heard mismo (from) the Presi-dent’s mouth as he promised them P2 billion help, assistance for quake victims for the city and the province during his visit here last Feb,12. Now the people are looking, reminding us of that promise. Some even doubted we already pocketed the fund Duterte promised fund when in fact we have not received even a single centavo,” Matugas lamented.


About Ben Serrano

Ben Serrano covers Caraga for The Gold Star Daily, and is based in Butuan City.

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