LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Businessmen in this town's trading post donated on Sunday some 1,300 kilos of vegetables to tens of thousands of residents displaced by Mount Mayon's restiveness in Albay province.
The donation, which will cross an 800-kilometer distance between the 2 provinces, includes a thousand kilos of sayote and about 300 kilos of potatoes.
“Iyung mga taga-dito sa amin na nagtratransport ng gulay sa ibang lugar, handa po kaming tumulong kahit na kaunti kaysa iyong wala,” said Chief Inspector Benson Macli-Ing, head of the La Trinidad police.
(Benguet residents who deliver vegetables to other areas are committed to extending even a little help, which would be better than none at all.)
The Bagsakan Municipal Cluster Vegetable Dealers Association opted to send sayote and potatoes to Albay as these do not spoil easily compared to other vegetables, said the group's leader Filomena Kinawag.
“Ngayon iyong mga hindi makapagbigay ng ganitong gulay, nag-solicit kami ng cash, bumili na lang kami para madagdagan," she said.
(We solicited cash from those who cannot donate these vegetables and we used the money to buy more.)
Daniel Canacio, another vegetable trader, urged Albay residents to keep their faith strong. “Sana palagi silang manalangin sa Diyos para huminto na iyong bulkan na iyon para bumalik sila sa tahanan nila,” he said.
(May they always pray to God for the volcano to quiet down so that they can return home.)
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 the surrounding areas.
Mayon remains under alert level 4, the second highest in a 5-tier warning system, which means a hazardous eruption may be imminent.