MANILA, Philippines - Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong yesterday called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to contribute a portion of their pork barrel allocations for relief operations in provinces damaged by the recent floods. Ong said many localities in Samar island, including those in his district, have been appealing for immediate national government assistance for the victims. He said a huge portion of his district is now submerged in flood waters that destroyed millions of pesos worth of crops and infrastructure.
"My appeal for the government is to mobilize all agencies to extend immediate assistance," the senior administration lawmaker said. Ong urged government to immediately tap the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct immediate restoration work for damaged infrastructure and the Department of Agriculture to distribute seedlings. "The Department of Trade must monitor businesses to avert unnecessary abuse and prices of basic goods. The Department of Social Services should also conduct immediate relief services," he said. Ong disclosed that most of the airline flights have been cancelled due to the heavy rainfall and the zero visibility. Mayors Andre Avalon of San Roque, Rogelio Tan of Pambuhan, Romualdo Menzon of Lapinig and Madeleine Ong of Catubig have been constantly reporting the damage to their respective localities, Ong said. At least 6,000 families have so far been evacuated to safer grounds, with majority of them coming from Pambuhan. A report by Mayor Ong said that continuous heavy rains have submerged many barangays in the town of Laoang