US pledges P5.2 million in Mayon emergency relief


Posted at Feb 15 2018 08:18 PM

Residents who had to leave their homes amid the Mayon Volcano's continuing activity stay in an evacuation center in Legazpi City, Albay, January 26, 2018. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA - The United States has pledged P5.2 million in emergency aid for those affected by the eruption of the Mayon Volcano in Albay, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The assistance will cover the construction of "latrines, bathing cubicles, and hand washing stations," the embassy said. 

Vouchers for the purchase of "essential household items and hygiene kits" will also be distributed to some 4,000 families, it said.

"The U.S. government’s support is a testament to our unwavering partnership with the Philippines,” US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said in a statement.

“In the last 10 years, the United States has provided nearly $277 million in disaster assistance to the Philippines. This assistance has saved lives, alleviated human suffering, and reduced the economic and social impact of disasters," he added.

Last week, South Korean officials in the Philippines turned over a P10-million cash donation for those affected by the continuous rumbling of the Mayon Volcano.

South Korea's donation coursed through the Philippine Red Cross will be used to procure hygiene kits and potable water for those staying in evacuation centers, Philippine Red Cross Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said.

Comfort rooms and lavatories will also be constructed near evacuation centers using the fund from South Korea, he said.

At least 81,000 residents in communities around Mayon were evacuated after the Philippines' most active volcano started erupting mid-January.

Albay has been placed under a state of calamity as ashfall from the restive volcano continued to affect residents' health and crops in areas near its foot. 

On Monday, the Mayon Volcano again spewed ash and lava. It remains under alert level 4, the second highest in a 5-tier warning system, which means a hazardous eruption may be imminent.