SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte (PNA) – The full recovery of this city from the destruction wrought by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake in February will take up to three years, Mayor Ernesto Matugas said Thursday.
Matugas appealed to the national government to fast-track the release of necessary funds to complete all the repair works in the city, which continues to experience tremors.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit after the quake, promised to extend PHP2 billion to the city.
“I understand that there are procedures to be followed before the promised aid of the President will be released,” Matugas said, as he urged the national government to speed up the processes and release of the needed funds.
The quake damaged major infrastructures here, including roads, bridges, government buildings, the airport, seaport, business establishments and houses.
A total of 26,000 residents in Surigao City were directly affected by the quake, 403 houses were recorded totally damaged and 6,093 were listed partially damaged, data from local government said.
The quake’s damage was estimated at PHP1.7 billion, including government and private infrastructures and properties, the mayor said.
Matugas said he already made some follow-ups and wrote Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for the release of the promised aid by the President.
Matugas said the local government of Surigao City, with the support of private groups and individuals, has provided initial support to the affected families.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also gave relief assistance to 26,000 affected families he said.
“I know that the initial funds released to the affected people were not enough,” he pointed out.
He said the families whose houses were totally damaged were initially given P6,000 each.
Matugas said that his office is now coordinating with the DSWD national office for the release of P30,000 to each of the 403 families whose houses were totally damaged and P10,000 each to families whose houses were partially damaged by the quake.
The funds, he added, will come from the agency’s shelter program.
The local government has released funds for the procurement of 30 tents that will serve as temporary classrooms for students, he said.
“The tents will be provided to schools where repairs will continue even during the opening of the school year in June,” he said.
Matugas appealed to his constituents to bear with government procedures in the release of funds and other assistance.