Rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts continue for residents in the 1st District of Negros Oriental, a month after the 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit the province, Gov. Roel Degamo said yesterday.

All roads leading to the district are now passable, including those in the barangays that were isolated by landslides and also damaged bridges, he added.

The confirmed fatalities totaled 58, with 24 in Guihulngan City, 15 in La Libertad, 10 in Jimalalud, three each in Tayasan and Ayungon, and two in Bindoy, the Office of Civil Defense reported.

It added that 62 persons remained missing and 227 were injured.

Degamo is urging the OCD to expedite the release of financial assistance to the victims and to simplify policies for determining when a missing person can be declared dead.

More than P53 million worth of relief goods have been received from various sources through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the agency in charge of distributing donations to victims.

The provincial government also spent more than P12 million as quick response fund for earthquake-stricken areas, aside from the P10 million cash donation of the Cebu provincial government, through Gov. Gwen Garcia.*JG