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Solons pledge financial help to Mindanao quakes victims —Cayetano

House members have pledged financial help to the victims of the twin earthquakes that hit parts of Mindanao last week, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Monday.

In an interview with reporters, Cayetano said at least 90 House members have responded to the call of Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte for them to donate for the quake victims.

"Walang minimum [amount], kanya-kanya. May nag-pledge ng P20,000, may nag-pledge ng P50,000, may nag-pledge ng P100,000. Galing ito sa sweldo nila," he said.

"Of course ire-recommend namin ang cash kasi makakatulong sa local economy nila kung yung mga goods ay doon na rin bibilhin sa kanila," he added.

Personnel from the Speaker's office also visited earthquake-hit areas in Mindanao to make an assessment on the needs of the victims, Cayetano said.

Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez, who chairs the House Committee on Disaster Management, has also recommended the House to approve measures focusing on the rehabilitation of disaster-hit areas, he added.

"Sabi niya baka mas magiging effective yung rehab, especially na sa Pilipinas... na after two, three, four months, minsan nakakalimutan na, hindi na matapos yung rehabilitation. So yun ang isang tututukan natin," Cayetano said.

The Speaker said the House will aim to approve the measure creating the proposed Department on Disaster Resiliency within the month, along with the Department on Water Resources and the Department on Filipino Overseas.

"Iba talaga na may isang departamento na walang ibang ginagawa kundi naka-focus sa risk management o risk reduction and disaster management and rehab," he said. —LDF, GMA News