AT least P13 million has been raised by the House of Representatives to help the victims of the Marawi City crisis, a House leader bared yesterday.
House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas, a stalwart of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), made the announcement almost three weeks after Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez disclosed the decision of the leadership to generate funds for the victims that will be placed under a trust fund.
The House of Representatives held the fund-raising last May 28 to 31 or until the sine die adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 17th Congress.
In the meantime, the P13 million will be deposited under a trust fund until the committee comes up with a formula for its equitable distribution to help the victims.
Fariñas said at least 200 lawmakers have donated personal funds for the victims led by Alvarez, adding Isabela Gov. Bojie Dy, Isabela Vice Gov. Tony Pet Albano, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Singson, and Laoag board member Ria Farinas also participated in the fund-raising.
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, a stalwart of the Nacionalista Party (NP), welcomed this development. “This is a healthy sign of showing compassion to our distressed fellow countrymen affected by the crisis. We are supportive of President Duterte’s strong resolve to eliminate all terrorist groups in the country.”
Abu reiterated his call to the nation’s largest corporations to provide cash and food items to support the immediate relief efforts in conflict areas.
“The country’s biggest corporations can contribute hugely in extending assistance to the victims and the rebuilding efforts. Hopefully the Marawi City crisis will be over very soon,” said Abu.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, a member of the PDP-Laban, said the fund-raising was “a very good gesture of the House of Representatives.”
Alvarez underscored the need to help the government provide immediate relief to those who have been displaced by the conflict as a result of terrorism being waged by the Maute Group, a local terrorist group with links to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).