Rama to appeal to Cebu City Council for State of Calamity over TD Agaton
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will appeal to the City Council for the declaration of a State of Calamity in the City due to the damages it sustained during Tropical Depression (TD) Agaton.
The Cebu City Council refused to declare the State of Calamity and opted to declare a State of Preparedness instead due to the lack of information over the damages.
Rama said he does not want to quarrel with the City Council but he will make an appeal because the disaster happened and it could not be denied.
Based on the initial reports of the Disaster Coordinating Council, the city’s mountain barangays sustained P400 million worth of structural damages and P40 million in agricultural damages.
“I don’t want to quarrel, but we will appeal. There was a disaster. It happened. There was a million barrel of rain, there was a disaster even before the council intervention,” said the mayor.
The council has been concerned that the city may be bleeding funds unnecessarily by declaring a state of calamity when there is already funds allotted for such incidents such as the preparedness funds from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
For the mayor, he understands the concerns of the City Council, but he believes there is a need to allot more funds to fix the damages.
This is especially since the city has faced so many challenges already from the pandemic to Odette to Agaton. Still, the city has to address the problems and fix what needs to be fixed, Rama said.
The declaration of State of Calamity should allow the city to access up to 70 percent of the disaster funds allowing more allocations to the affected residents.
Rama hopes the City Council will reconsider their decision and provide the Executive Department the authority to maximize the city’s resources to help the disaster-stricken residents rise up again. /rcg
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