House open for floods victims, says speaker

House open for floods victims, says speaker

House Speaker Marzuki Alie (ANTARA)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - House Speaker Marzuki Alie has announced that the parliament building (DPR) will remain open to provide temporary shelter for flood victims .

Marzuki and several legislators, as well as DPR secretary general Nining Indra Saleh, visited areas affected by floods on Saturday, as well as meeting with flood victims in Sukamulya, Grogol, West Jakarta.

He said the DPR also is operating a 24-hour call center to serve flood victims and was ready to begin accepting people to be housed at the parliament building.

"We have deployed volunteers and also secretariat general staff members to help in the effort," he added.

"Now what is important is action. Long meetings are not needed when it comes to helping people," he said, while traveling aboard a rubber boat heading to the evacuation center.

Marzuki expressed concern when hearing stories about flood victims and asked the National Agency for Disaster Mitigation (BNPB) to move more quickly in assisting the public.

Marzuki, accompanied by his wife, Asnawati, was in the evacuation center for three hours and distributed aid, including medical supplies and some 3,000 boxes of food.

The head of the DPR Household sub-division, Ahmad Gofar, noted that the food boxes were not enough, due to the large number of evacuees in Pluit and Jelambar.

After reviewing the situation, Marzuki ordered the setting up of a makeshift kitchen at the DPR.

Marzuki said the DPR had no special budget for dealing with disasters, such as the current flooding in the city.

Many people were not informed about assistance being provided by the BNPB or the social affairs ministry, so they came to the DPR and its members for help.

In view of that, he said he had collected private donations from DPR members for flood victims.

"We have opened this command post because we do not want to remain idle. We have also collected Rp140 million from members and the secretariat general staff members, and for that I am appreciative," he added.