MANILA, Philippines – Several residents are risking their lives to salvage their belongings and animals despite the dangers of returning to Taal volcano island.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reiterated that going inside the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone in the volcano island is illegal and highly dangerous because Taal Volcano may erupt anytime.
“Kung ni-rescue man po nila, mabuti at nagpapasalamat po tayo na ganun na nabuhay po ang mga alaga nila (It’s good and we appreciate that they were able to rescue their animals alive),” NDRRMC Spokesperson Mark Timbal said.
“Pero ang ikinakakaba po naming ay iyong kanilang pagbalik. Kasi they violated an ‘off-limits’ arrangement natin at saka ‘yung mandatory evacuation order for that particular area (But what we are concerned about is their journey back to the safe zone. They are violating our ‘off-limits’ arrangement and the mandatory evacuation order for that particular area),” he added.
Several images and videos were uploaded on social media showing residents ferrying their livestock to the shore.
Also, several members of animal welfare teams were reportedly caught stranded on the island.
According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the three members of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were already rescued to safety.
“Kaninang umaga, tumawag kasi sila na medyo na-stranded nga daw sila. So, they asked for help to contact ang Coast Guard na mabilis naman pong umaksyon. Nakuha naman po sila (They called this morning asking for help to contact the Coast Guard because they were stranded. The Coast Guard immediately launched a rescue operation and they were brought to safety),” explained PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera.
The NDRRMC said residents and NGOs should coordinate first with them before they venture to the danger zone to discuss proper rescue procedures in rescuing the animals.
“Maganda po ang intensyon nila, pero (Their intention is good but) what we are worried about is, what if something bad happens and they are within the 14-kilometer danger zone,” Timbal said.
“Hindi po natin maga-guarantee ang safety ng mga taong ito (We cannot guarantee the safety of these people),” he added. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Social Security System (SSS) who were affected by typhoon Tisoy may now apply for the Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) loan.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said members and pensioners in Southern Luzon and Visayas hit by Tisoy may now avail of the calamity loan, direct house repair and improvement loan as well the advanced three-month pension program.
She added that the CAP program, which has a total fund allocation of more than P614 million, covers members and pensioners residing in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
These areas include Batangas City; Mabitac, Laguna; Provinces of Quezon, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque; Corcuera, Romblon and San Fernando in Romblon; and Province of Northern Samar.
“The CAP includes a loan assistance program which is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan,” Ignacio said in a statement Monday.
“Members can borrow up to P40,000 in calamity loan depending on their average last 12 monthly salary credit. The financial assistance is also open to pensioners who can avail three months advance of their monthly pension. Moreover, members can also apply for direct housing repair and improvement loan,” she added.
Loan application for Tisoy-hit SSS members is open from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.
“Members who would like to avail of the Calamity Assistance Package are required to be registered in the My.SSS application to facilitate their billing requirements in the future,” Ignacio said.
The SSS Chief, however, clarified that members who still have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) and previous CAPs, as well as those receiving pensions for total permanent disability and retirement, and those who have availed of the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are not qualified to avail of the calamity loan.
The SSS said the calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments.
To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee, it added.
Aside from the calamity loan, the SSS said that members with damaged properties can also avail of the direct house repair and improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments.
“Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program which will run for one year or until 20 December 2020,” Ignacio said.
“To qualify, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” she added.
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