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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

01 August 2022 07:20:28 PM

THE House of Representatives on Monday expressed its “profound empathy, compassion, solidarity, and support” for the victims of the Magnitude 7 earthquake that shook Abra and neighboring provinces in northern Luzon last Wednesday.

The expression was made in House Resolution No. 122, which the House unanimously adopted.

It was authored by Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose "Mannix" Dalipe, Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan, and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos.

“The House of Representatives commiserates with and offers its sincere empathy to the families and loved ones of those affected by this natural disaster in their struggle to rise up from this tragedy,” the resolution stated.

The chamber’s members resolved to “collectively and individually rise up to meet the challenges of relief and rehabilitation in the earthquake-stricken areas, including individual pledges for the purpose of providing financial and all other kinds of assistance to the earthquake victims.”

The House noted in its resolution that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who comes from neighboring Ilocos Norte, “swiftly ordered the dispatch of rescue and relief teams.”

The President likewise promptly “flew to affected areas and hosted a televised briefing to assure the affected individuals and families of the existence of sufficient funds to provide maximum care, assistance and services, implement emergency rehabilitation projects to lessen the impact of disaster, and facilitate resumption of normal social and economic activities,” the resolution stated.

It said the country, which sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and constantly faces the challenges of natural calamities.

Last week’s tremor jolted the town of Lagangilang, Abra, but affected the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, the rest of the Cordillera Administrative Region, and other parts of Luzon as well.

The House said the earthquake and its aftershocks affected 314,161 individual or 82,336 families, killed 10 persons, left a number of people injured, caused extensive damage to more than 21,000 houses, bridges and other major infrastructures worth P414.228 million, and triggered several landslides that led to road closures, power interruptions and poor internet connectivity.

Because of the several damage to private and government structures that affected 80 percent of the population, Abra officials placed the entire province under a state of calamity to allow them to control prices of basic goods and use calamity funds, it said.

It added that the neighboring city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also sustained damage, including to its well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings like the Vigan Cathedral and the iconic Bell Tower, which were left in shambles.(END)