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DILG to fund repairs of quake-damaged gov’t halls

QUAKES-HIT AREAS. President Rodrigo R. Duterte leads the distribution of family food packs during his visit to the earthquake victims at the M’lang National High School in Cotabato on Monday (Dec. 30, 2019). Assisting the President is Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista. (Presidential photo of Albert Alcain)

KIDAPAWAN CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to fund the repair and reconstruction of local government unit buildings damaged by earthquakes that hit North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Emmanuel Piñol said the order was given to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año following the President’s visit to M’lang, North Cotabato on December 30 for the distribution of relief and financial aid to quake victims.

“It was the first good news for 2020,” Piñol said in a statement Wednesday.

He said the President made the verbal instruction to Año after he, as MinDA chair, reported to the chief executive the extent of damage brought about by the quakes.

“Ed (Año), tulungan mo yung mga barangay at munisipyo na tinamaan (help the villages and towns that were hit by the quakes),” he quoted the President as saying over a late luncheon meeting.

Año said his department is ready to respond to the requests of the local government units for assistance.

Piñol said an assessment by MinDA showed that several village halls and municipal hall structures were heavily damaged like the Magsaysay town hall in Davao del Sur and the town legislative building of M’lang in North Cotabato.

Piñol said at least five of the towns hit by the earthquakes have abandoned the municipal buildings and hold offices in makeshift tents to continue government services.

Aside from town halls, several health centers, public markets, fire stations, and police stations were also damaged.

Piñol called on all village and town officials to submit photos and narrative reports about the damage to government structures in their localities to MinDA so these can be forwarded to DILG for funding. 

Edwin Fernandez/PNA

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