March 27, 2023

Extending genuine aid to earthquake victims

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has taken the lead in delivering immediate assistance to the victims of the earthquake that struck northern Luzon on July 27.

He visited Abra, which was the epicenter of the earthquake, the following day and met the victims including those injured lying at the provincial hospital.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, on the other hand, provided food packs, tents, and cash aid to the people of Abra and neighboring provinces.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is fast-tracking the clearing of roads to ensure the efficient delivery of services to affected communities. Power, communication and Internet services were restored in most of the areas in the Cordillera on the same day. Assistance extended to the victims continues.

While the government continues to aid our kakailyan, everyone is called to extend help by sending donations to the affected communities in Ilocos and Cordillera regions.

However, it is important for us to be discerning on groups where we could channel our donations to ensure that our help reaches the victims and will not end up with those who are only taking advantage of the earthquake to raise funds, and crediting solicitation of donations and relief operations for some political agenda.

Calls for donations have surfaced online where donors are advised to deposit monetary assistance to personal accounts of some individuals with affiliation to some political groups such as those under the umbrella of the underground movement.

We must not let these groups bank on the disaster to generate funds for their campaign to overthrow the government.

It is inherent among us, Cordillerans, to extend earnest assistance to our kakailyan especially in times of calamities.

Let us be cautious and instead course whatever help we can give to legitimate organizations or to the DSWD.

Our genuine and earnest help will go a long way especially during this difficult time. — CRISTINA CATBAGAN, chair, Nagkakaisang Samahan Para sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran

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