Poe team sends relief goods to Bicol region

Sen. Grace Poe last week organized a team of volunteers to pack and send relief goods to victims of Typhoon Ulysses in three provinces in the Bicol region.

Volunteers from Poe’s office delivered relief items to Legaspi City in Albay, San Fernando, Camarines Sur, and Baras in Catanduanes.

Recipients in the Baras barangays of Bagong Sirang, Buenavista, San Lorenzo, Eastern Poblacion and Western Poblacion each got a relief pack containing 5 kilos of rice, 4 pieces of noodles, 4 sachets of instant coffee, 3 cans of corned beef, and 3 cans of meatloaf.

“We need to extend as much help as we can now because this is the most critical time for survivors of the calamity. Every donation that reaches them sends the message that they have not been forgotten and that help is on its way,” said Poe.

The donations were made through Panday Bayanihan, a nongovernment organization established in 2013 when Typhoon Maring affected 2.5 million people and displaced 800,000 residents.

“Rebuilding and recovering is no longer enough, we need to be resilient. This will not be the last nor the worst calamity that would sweep its way through the country,” said Poe.

“So, we have to work on becoming more prepared by taking a long-term approach and building communities that are more resilient to the effects of climate change,” Poe stressed.

Poe recently filed Senate Bill No.124 or the proposed “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Act” that enables local government units to go beyond recovery and build communities that are resilient to calamities.

If passed into law, it will appoint a department secretary to the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience and Emergency Assistance and Management to ensure greater accountability.

“Previously, there were already calls to action, proposed initiatives and legislations that sought to help us prepare for the effects of climate change,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services.

“Today, we consider them our ‘what if’. I hope that this doesn’t become another ‘what if’ when the next calamity strikes,” Poe said.

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