Press Release
February 19, 2006

Drilon allocates P20 million for rescue and relief operations in Leyte

Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin Drilon today disclosed he was allocating P20 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to finance rescue and relief operations in Saint Bernard town, Leyte province where thousands of residents were reported buried in mud due to a landslide.

Drilon said he was directing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release P20 million of his PDAF to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to augment efforts to help the landslide victims.

We share the grief of the victims of the landslide, Drilon said. I have decided to allocate part of my PDAF to help finance the immediate rescue operations and to provide assistance to those who survived the tragedy, Drilon said.

As of Sunday, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) revealed that foreign and local assistance were pouring in for the Leyte landslide victims.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has mobilized hundreds of its men and its air and sea assets for rescue and relief efforts, the NDCC said. The US government will deploy 1,000 Marines, two battleships, and 17 helicopters to assist in relief efforts.

The United Nations has donated P2.5 million, fast-food giant Mc Donald's P90,000 worth of rice, the United States Agency for International Development P2.9 million in food and non-food items, and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) P152,000 worth of medicines, the NDCC said. Taiwan has pledged $100,000 to the Philippines for the relief efforts.

The Department of Health has readied for distribution P2.3 million worth of medicines, cadaver bags, and lime to preserve dead bodies. The DSWD will distribute P210,000 worth of relief goods.

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