Relief efforts by public and private entities are still pouring in for victims of Typhoon “Odette,” as nearly 25,000 families in affected municipalities have yet to return to their homes on Christmas Eve.
The Palawan provincial government reported a total of 11,125 food packs and 500 sacks of rice already delivered to affected families in San Vicente, Dumaran, Taytay, Roxas, Araceli, Taytay, and the Kalayaan group of islands.
Over the week, numerous individuals, groups, and organizations all over Palawan have launched their own relief operations with donation drives, benefit concerts, and community kitchens.
According to PIO Atty. CJ Cojamco, Roxas has the most number of affected families at an estimated 22,000. As of their latest data, it is still unknown how many families have returned to their homes given the vast devastation of the town.
He added that the provincial government has finalized a calamity fund of P36.4-million from the provincial government, but they are still discussing if this will be given as cash aid or construction materials for those who have lost their homes.
“Tinitingnan natin kung puwede itong ibigay as cash or supplies na lang. We are looking into buying items from Manila at ‘yon ang ibibigay sa kanila,” Cojamco said in a phone interview on Friday.
Based on initial reports from disaster officials in Araceli, a total of 3,965 families are in need of relief aid. He also stated that the death toll in Roxas town is now at eight people, with five still missing. Aborlan also has four missing persons and one person is still missing in Taytay.
Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa City has yet to give an updated accounting of all affected families and relief aid given to those affected by the typhoon. City mayor Lucilo Bayron stated in an interview with acting information officer Richard Ligad that financial aid will be given to a selected number of families.
“Nagpahanda tayo, sa pamamagitan ng declaration ng state of calamity, nagpahanda tayo na magrelease ng initial na financial assistance. Kasi, iba-iba ang mga pangangailangan ng mga tao, mayroong mga nangangailangan ng yero, pako. So ngayong araw na ito, makakapag-release tayo ng P3,000 per family, doon sa mga heavily damaged barangays sa north, northeast, at northwest,” Bayron said on Friday.
“Eventually, ang 28 rural barangays natin ay maaabot. Lahat ng mga residente doon ay mabibigyan ng financial assistance,” he added.