Read/Post Comment: 0 Posted by Administrator /  15.05.2009
Danica Dana M. Rimando, PITO-LU

National Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council Chairman Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. gave a directive to speed up the ongoing rehabilitation works in all areas that were struck by Typhoon Emong, to officials of various agencies during his visit to La Union, where he presided over the joint assessment meeting of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Councils (RDCs) of Region 1 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) at the Diego Silang Hall, La Union Provincial Capitol Building on May 13, 2009.

With 46 deaths and 46 injuries in the Ilocandia Region and CAR alone and most of the casualties coming from La Union, Pangasinan, and Ifugao with three others still missing, Teodoro ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); representatives Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine National Police and local officials to coordinate their activities and work together in restoring the typhoon-ravaged areas of Region 1 and CAR.

Chief Supt. Ramon Gatan, chairman of the Ilocos Regional Disaster Coordinating Council, said Emong damaged a total of P103,776,663 worth of rice, corn, high value commercial crops and irrigation facilities in the region and another P501 million worth of damage in fishery infrastructures, nearly wiping out all of the fish pens in the towns of Anda, and Bolinao, in western Pangasinan. Furthermore, the typhoon razed a total of more than 40,000 houses aside from the 216 school buildings that were also destroyed. The Secretary ordered the agencies to prioritize the extension of assistance to those who have lost their homes along with the repairs of the school buildings.

On the other hand, Chief Supt. Orlando Pestaño, chairman of RDCC-CAR, said that Emong killed 16 people in Ifugao, injured 16 others and damaged 151 houses. Pestaño said the typhoon affected a total of 1,274 families and a number of landslides closed several roads and highways to traffic.

Ifugao Governor Teodoro Baguilat said a total of P220 million worth of agricultural products and infrastructure were also damaged. He said the amount equaled the yearly internal revenue allotment of his province. Baguilat said an Army engineering battalion is already helping the public works department in clearing the roads from landslide debris.

In conclusion, the Defense Secretary asked the local officials to submit their respective rehabilitation plans and rapid assessment reports by Wednesday as basis for the financial assistance being prepared by the Office of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Acting on reports reaching his office, Teodoro also directed the police to arrest business owners who may take advantage of the situation by jacking up the prices of their products and services.

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