Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Binay cancels P16-m countdown (No fireworks, no bands, no dancing.)

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideMetro.htm?f=2009/december/29/metro1.isx&d=/2009/december/29

The much-awaited New Year’s Eve countdown in Makati City has been called off after Mayor Jejomar Binay ordered the revelry’s P16-million budget be used instead to assist victims in the recent Bangkal fire and families evacuated amid an erupting Mayon Volcano.

It is not the first time that Makati has dropped the merry making at the corner of Ayala and Makati avenues.

The pyrotechnics and free concert of top bands and performers were cancelled in 2005 during the economic crunch with the countdown funds going to food for distribution to poor residents.

“It would be improper for the city to push through with the countdown considering what many of our constituents as well as our brothers and sisters in other provinces are going through,” Binay said.

Earlier, Makati sent relief to over 150,000 families across Metro Manila and Luzon in places declared under a state of calamity by the National Disaster Coordinating Council after a spate of floodings.

The City Council allocated at least P27 million to buy rice, canned goods and other items needed by typhoon victims, such as bottled water, sleeping mats and blankets.

A week before the fire, Chairman Fermin Eusebio of cash-strapped Bangkal requested P4,735,341.84 to bankroll its employees’ paychecks and projects.

But the assistance was outvoted in the Nacionalista-dominated council along with P123-million package for infrastructure and social services being pushed by the Binay administration.

The Dec. 23 Bangkal blaze left some 700 families homeless as it fanned out to neighboring Pasay City.

“The city government has put up a community kitchen for the fire victims, and a medical team to attend to their needs. Residents will be offered new homes in a resettlement area in Cabuyao, Laguna, while those who opt to go back to their provinces will get financial assistance through the ‘Balik Probinsiya’ program,” Binay said. Rudy Brul

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideMetro.htm?f=2009/december/29/metro1.isx&d=/2009/december/29

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