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Friday, January 24, 2020

Congress to come up with multi-billion rehab fund to help Batangas recover from devastation, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech after leading the ceremonial distribution of assistance to the families affected by the Taal Volcano eruption at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sto. Tomas Campus in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas on January 20, 2020. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

STO. TOMAS, Batangas—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday said he wants Congress to speed up the crafting of a plan that will fund the rehabilitation of communities devastated by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

The President also suggested the construction of emergency shelters, urging Congress to help allocate fund in building large evacuation centers in disaster-prone areas particularly in the provinces facing the Pacific Ocean like Samar, Isabela, and Cagayan.

Speaking before the survivors of the eruption, the President said it would be good if Congress can provide the money together with the allocation intended for the rehabilitation of devastated areas in the province.

To help the rehabilitation of affected areas, the President said legislators eye to allocate around P30 billion to affected communities.

“Congress is conscious. That is why there is a pending — maybe a resolution — P30 billion ang mapupunta sa inyo. Kung nandiyan ‘yan, to the last centavo pangako ko dadating ‘yan sa inyo,” the President said at event held at the PUP Gymnasium here.

“Hintayin na lang natin ‘yung ano. I will ask Congress to expedite. That will cover all your — P30 billion would cover your everything. ‘Yung tulong na ninyo sa livestocks pati sa mga bahay.”

The President also assured the people of Batangas that the Department of Agriculture will provide agricultural assistance to the farmers considering agriculture is the main source of livelihood for BatangueƱos.

He also vowed to assist the people of the province in rebuilding the houses destroyed by the Taal Volcano eruption through the National Housing Authority (NHA).

During the event, the President led the distribution of food packs, cash assistance, assorted seedlings, animal feeds, jerry cans and hygiene kits, sleeping mats, blankets and t-shirts to affected families.

New PNP chief oath taking

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa was sworn in by President Duterte in Batangas during his visit to the province.

The President also led the donning of rank for the new PNP chief, promoting him to police lieutenant general.

President Duterte first announced the designation of Gamboa as the new head of the PNP during his  speech at the thanksgiving gathering for the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Davao City on Friday.

General Gamboa, the 23rd PNP chief, replaced Oscar Albayalde who resigned last year after being embroiled in a drug controversy.

Gamboa was the former deputy chief for administration of the PNP and became PNP’s officer-in-charge since October 2019.

He was also the PNP National Headquarters Chief of the Directorial Staff from March 17, 2017 to September 1, 2018 and Deputy Chief for Operations from September 1, 2018 to October 12, 2019.

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