BY SHERWIN DE VERA
VIGAN CITY — Four regions North of Manila, ravaged by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), was declared by Malacañang under state of calamity on Tuesday, September 25 citing “widespread destruction, substantial damage and deaths”.
According to Presidential Proclamation 593, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region under the calamity status “hasten the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation” in the provinces.
The document signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea directed all government departments and agencies to implement the necessary disaster response and “coordinate with, and augment the basic services and facilities” of government units devastated by the typhoon.
The declaration provides for price control of basic goods, appropriation of calamity funds from the national and local governments, and provision of zero-interest loans.
Agricultural loses reached P6.1 billion in Ilocos, P15 billion in Cagayan Valley, P4.1 billion in the Cordilleras and P13.9 billion in Central Luzon.
As of September 24, the Agriculture department has pegged the total damaged incurred by the sector at P26.7 billion. Hardest hit are rice crops that were on their grain-formation stage with damage amounting to P14.5 billion while corn and high value crops were valued at P8.2 and P3.4 billion respectively.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public works and Highways puts the total damage estimate for government infrastructure at P6.9 billion.
Destroyed flood control structures comprised the biggest chunk with P5.3 billion followed by roads at P1.5 billion. Destruction of public buildings and bridges were valued at P78.3 billion and P52 billion respectively.
Typhoon Ompong’s onslaught in Luzon displaced 388,136 families in 4,414 barangays in Northern and Central Luzon, the National Capital Region and Southern Tagalog.# nordis.net