By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 4 (PNA)–The city government of Legazpi will provide PHP500,000 financial assistance to the five municipalities in Albay province that were battered by typhoon Nina on Christmas Day.

City Mayor Noel Rosal said the city government will provide PHP100,000 financial aid to each of the towns of Tiwi and Malinao in Albay’s first congressional district, and the towns of Oas, Polangui and Libon in the third district of the province. He said he will ask the Sangguniang Panglunsod (City Council) to give him the green light so the city government’s calamity fund could also be given to the five towns. Earlier, Albay second district Rep. Joey Salceda had appealed for help for his hometown Polangui and its neighboring towns of Libon and Oas, where vast tracts of agricultural land were destroyed while thousands of families were rendered homeless.

He said 70 percent of houses made of light materials in Oas, Libon and Polangui were destroyed. The three towns account for 72 percent of Albay’s rice output. Salceda estimated the damage to infrastructures in the three towns at PHP300 million. He said initial reports showed that in Polangui, some 10,431 houses were totally destroyed and 5,425 houses partially damaged while damage to agriculture was estimated at PHP98.7 million. Salceda said in Libon town, 4,320 houses were flattened to the ground while 2,540 others were partially damaged. Damage to agriculture was estimated at PHP128 million. He appealed for relief assistance such as rice, canned goods and other food items, water, clothing, household necessities like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, housing materials or tarps and medicines.

Salceda said the major dikes in Barangays Bangag and Calzada in Oas were destroyed. He said typhoon Nina left three fatalities in Polangui town who did not want to leave their homes following the mandatory evacuation orders imposed by the provincial government. Meanwhile, Albay third district Rep. Fernando Gonzalez has been conducting a clean up drive, distribution of water and relief operations in his district. Power supply has yet to be totally restored in towns in the first and third districts of Albay. In Albay’s second district, particularly in the central business district of Legazpi City, power has been restored. But the city’s far-flung barangays have yet to be energized. (PNA) FPV/GVR/RBB/CBD)