After Surigao City in Northern Mindanao hit by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake at exactly 10:03 p.m Friday night of February 10, 2017, people of Surigao are now on its way of getting back things into normal despite of being struck by a disastrous ground shake.
City Information Officer Ms. Annette P. Villaces of the City Mayor’s Office of Surigao said that the most damaged area in Surigao was the City Proper causing severe damage to infrastructures and other public facilities,utilities and business establishments like hotels and restaurants, schools, buildings, churches, roads and bridges that would amount more than 8 Billion pesos.
Accordingly, 95% of its situation is now getting into normal already since water and power supply were now restored. Classes and office work has returned to normal and business were now back to usual. Government gave cash donations to seven (7) families who have lost their family members amounting to fifty thousand pesos each (from National, Provincial and City funds) and goods as support to their basic needs while those houses that were totally damaged receives thirty thousand pesos plus goods and ten thousand pesos plus goods for those houses which are partially damaged.
Around 2,400 Surigaonon families received their Cash Assistance last May 10–12 ,2017, held at the City Auditorium. Each family receives P10,000.00 cash assistance aid for partially damaged houses after being rocked by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake.
Mrs. Myrna Destajo, City Social Welfare Development officer said, the distribution of the Cash Assistance will continue next week until the 6,031 beneficiaries will be given cash assistance completely.
Further, the 60 Million peso budget came from the Regional Office by the Office of the CSWD initiated by the City Mayor of Surigao, honorable Ernesto T. Matugas as the chairman of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council or CDRRMC.
Mr. Rojo, 29, resident of the affected area and one of the recipients of the government’s cash assistance program said in an interview, “Dako gajud na tabang para sa amo kay makapalit na kami nan materyales para ipadajaw amo bayay sanan gamiton ni namo na kwarta para ikapagana sa amo naguba na bayay tungod adto na linog.” (It was a big help for us because we can now buy materials to fix our house and at the same time we can use this money for the rehabilitation of our damaged house that was struck by an earthquake).
There were rehabilitation programs implemented by the local government of Surigao after the crisis happened. This is to prepare the city from future calamities. One of which is the immediate action: Repairing of those damaged facilities, buildings and other infra-damages. It also includes strict implementation of the building code for the standardized building construction. Second of which is the long term action: to relocate those residents living along and near the identified danger especially in fault zone. There will also be an installation of EQ alarm system for wide coverage public awareness when there is a movement underground. According to the PHIVOLCS, expect aftershocks and more quakes. Ms.Villaces also added that Surigao is already disaster resilience.
Writer|Irine C. Hinayon, BA Mass Communication student |UP Cebu