Tens of thousands of coastal families in Taal Lake need aid, livelihood rehab – group
Nasugbu, Batangas – The provincial chapter of the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that at least 9, 000 families, mostly fisherfolk, from three coastal towns near Taal Lake still need economic aid and livelihood rehabilitation, after the Taal Volcano had its phreatic eruption last week, forcing tens of thousands living along the lake to evacuate, and damaging an estimated cost of P3 billion to agriculture and fisheries in the nearby provinces.
PAMALAKAYA, along with its chapter Haligi ng Batanguenong Anakdagat (HABAGAT) and volunteers from the Southern Tagalog Serve the People Corp Network, delivered relief packs and hot meals in two evacuation sites located at Tuy, Batangas yesterday.
Gregorio Arpon, HABAGAT’s President, said that his group has initially recorded around 1, 700, 4, 500, and 2, 800 families affected by the eruption from the towns of San Nicolas, Lemery, and Taal, Batangas, respectively.
“We are still calling for humanitarian aid and livelihood assistance in behalf of tens of thousands of victims of the Taal Volcano’s eruption. We are also in the process of pressing local and national government agencies to effectively address this situation and provide the basic needs of the affected people, and moreover, pursue a genuine rehabilitation program for their devastated livelihood,” Arpon said in a press statement on Sunday.
For his part, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap appealed that “on top of the temporary relief aid, the victims should be guaranteed that they can get back to their communities and livelihood as a long-term rehabilitation solution”.
“Aside from the massive relief efforts from various non-governmental and civil society organizations, individuals, and sectors, the victims need the local and national government to support the rehabilitation of their homes and communities to help them get back on their feet and ultimately rebuild their lives,” ended Hicap. ###