MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called for the construction of massive evacuation centers in disaster-prone provinces across the Philippines.
Duterte urged Congress to provide funding for the project, saying Filipinos oftentimes evacuate during times of calamities.
"I'm urging Congress sa lahat ng areas na prone sa disaster na magkaroon ng mga evacuation center na malalaki lalo na 'yung mga probinsya na nakaharap sa Pacific Ocean," he said in a speech in Sto. Tomas, Batangas City as he visited evacuees who fled the Taal Volcano eruption.
(There should be massive evacuation centers in provinces facing the Pacific Ocean)
The President said among the provinces where massive evacuation centers are needed are Samar, Isabela, Cagayan, and Batangas.
"It would be good if Congress can provide the money together with the tulong ninyo," he said.
He added that he would also ask Congress to pass a supplemental budget worth P30 billion for the government's response to the Taal Volcano eruption.
"I will ask Congress to expedite to cover P30 billion. Iyong tulong, pati sa livestock," he said.
"Dadating ang tulong sa inyo maghintay lang kayo, and we will act fast. Sa tamang panahon dadating ang tulong sa inyo," he added.
(Help will come and we will act fast.)
During his visit, Duterte also distributed relief goods to evacuees, similar to what he did during his first meeting with evacuees in Batangas City last week.
Earlier in the day, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said the President would distribute P5 million in financial aid to Lipa City, Sto. Tomas City, Mabini, Agoncillo, Tanauan, San Luis, San Jose, and Batangas City.
An additional P10 million meanwhile will be given to the Batangas provincial government, Go said.
Thousands remain in evacuation centers, a week after the volcano erupted as authorities have yet to lower the warning on Taal.
Most of the evacuees are staying in public schools, disrupting classes of thousands of students.