BARELY a week after donating 6,000 food and non-food packs to residents in Albay who were displaced by the increasing activity of Mayon Volcano, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) delivered additional relief assistance to the province as the number of locals affected by the volcano’s continuing unrest have reached almost 20,000.
With the support of the Philippine Army, PAGCOR provided another 2,400 food and non-food packs for the Mayon evacuees. The donation was personally received by Albay Governor Edcel Greco Lagman.
“Maraming salamat. Alam ko, ito ang pangalawang sunod na pagkakataong nagbigay ng tulong ang PAGCOR sa aming lalawigan. Sana ay huwag magsawa ang ahensyang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Albay na apektado ng muling pag-aalburoto ng Mayon,” he said.
Among the thousands of beneficiaries of the PAGCOR relief mission was housewife Crystal dela Cruz from Barangay Old Budiao in Daraga town, who immediately evacuated with her family after their community was included in the seven-kilometer permanent danger zone by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
“Nag-evacuate po kami agad nang malaman naming pinalilikas na kami ng aming barangay dahil sa banta ng pagsabog ng bulkan. Hindi po madali ang manirahan sa mga evacuation center dahil matagal kaming mawawalan ng kabuhayan. Kaya’t napakalaking bagay po ng tulong na ibinibigay sa amin ng maraming ahensya ng gobyerno, gaya ng PAGCOR,” she explained.
Barangay Old Budiao village chief Condi Loveres said that despite the difficulties being experienced by the evacuees who are staying in cramped temporary shelters around their town, they consider themselves fortunate to receive aid from various sectors.
“Okay po ang kalagayan ng ating mga evacuees dahil sa patuloy na pagbuhos ng mga ayuda mula sa iba’t ibang organisasyon. Naibibigay po ang lahat ng kanilang pangunahing pangangailangan,” Loveres noted.