By Genalyn Kabiling
The Department of Budget and Management has released the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of Albay province to help its residents cope with the impact of the Mayon volcano eruption.
With the release of the IRA, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said local government units (LGUs) in Albay could now tap into their calamity funds.
“I’d like also to announce that the DBM confirmed that, as of Monday, they released the IRA for Albay so that the different local governments of Albay can tap their 5-percent contingency funds,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.
“The IRA could be withdrawn as of Monday,” he added.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara earlier appealed to the national government to augment relief support for the families forced to evacuate their homes due to the volcanic eruption. Bichara likewise sought a swift release of the IRA for the local governments affected by the latest natural calamity.
As of January 23, Roque said a total of P19.39-million worth of relief goods have been provided to families and individuals affected by the volcanic activity.
Of the funds, P16.2 million came from Department of Social Welfare and Development, P124,000 came from LGUs, and P3.045 million from nongovernment organizations.
Roque said the DSWD recorded that a total of 12,214 families or 48,614 persons in 39 barangays have been affected.
As of January 23, around 7,455 families or 28,846 persons are taking temporary shelter in 29 evacuation centers in Albay. At least 1,518 families or 6,850 persons are staying with relatives in Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot and Sto. Domingo, Albay.
Roque also appealed anew to residents to stay away from the 8-kilometer danger zone around the Mayon volcano.
The Legazpi Airport remains closed due to ash columns spewed by Mayon.