Jinggoy extends aid to earthquake victims in Abra; inspects extent of damage

AS the number of individuals affected by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Abra continues to rise, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada flies to Bangued today, August 4, to provide relief assistance to the victims and to personally assess the damage in the province.

“Bukod sa maliit na tulong na hatid natin sa mga kababayan natin upang agaran nating matugunan ang ilan sa kanilang mga pangangailangan, gusto nating masuri ang kasalukuyang sitwasyon para magawan namin sa Senado ng kaukulang aksyon,” Estrada said.

Data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMC) showed that as of August 3, there are 109,009 affected families or 421,728 affected individuals, and 65,858 displaced persons.

Estrada is set to conduct an ocular inspection of the areas affected by the earthquake in time for the scheduled organizational meeting on Wednesday of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, which he chairs. Disaster officials have been invited to attend the meeting and give senators an update on the situation.

The senator brings with him 150 sacks of rice for distribution to affected local government units.

Estrada is likewise set to visit identified evacuation centers to ascertain how the national government can step up its relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Estrada recently filed Senate Bill No. 465 which seeks to establish multipurpose halls or gyms in all municipalities and cities in the country to serve as civic and evacuation centers for families during calamities and disasters.

To ensure the safety of the users as well as the reliability of the structures, Estrada’s SBN 465 specifies the location, structural capacity, and amenities that should be available in the said multipurpose gyms.

It must be able to withstand wind speeds of at least 155 miles per hour and seismic activity of at least 7.0 magnitude, similar to the earthquake which hit Abra last July 27.