DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 Dec) – The Army’s 10th Infantry Division will transport on Friday, December 23, at least 21 truckloads of relief aid to the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan for the victims of typhoon Sendong.
Maj. Jacob Obligado, chief the 10th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion, said the relief goods were donated by several individuals and organizations in their effort to extend relief assistance to the calamity victims.
In a text message, Obligado said the effort is dubbed as “Pagtinabangay Caravan Alang sa CDO ug Iligan,” which is a public-private partnership facilitated by the 10ID.
Obligado added that the initiative received an “overwhelming response and support from various stake holders. And more are still coming.”
“I cannot give an estimate as to how much is the monetary value of these relief goods. As of now, we have prepared 21 M-35 military trucks and we may add eight dump trucks, he said.
The relief goods consisted mostly of rice, noodles, canned goods and used clothes.
On Monday, the City Government of Davao sent P2-million worth of relief goods to the disaster-stricken cities while Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, personally delivered P1 million in cash to each city.
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Thursday said it is rushing plastic tarpaulins to the flood-devastated cities to provide emergency shelters for at least 10,000 people.
In a press statement, UNHCR said it will airlift more than 10,000 blankets, 4,000 jerry cans, and more than 2,000 kitchen sets (cooking pots, pans, bowls, knives, cups and cutlery), which will help a family of five prepare their own food.
UNHCR normally works with refugees, asylum-seekers, people displaced within their own countries and stateless people. In recent years it has also responded to natural disasters in some countries because of its expertise in emergencies.
In the Philippines in 2009, UNHCR’s work within the UN Country Team after Typhoon Ketsana (known locally as Ondoy) led to its being asked to expand its office to help care for the internally displaced people in Mindanao.
Last weekend’s tropical storm, known internationally as Washi and in the Philippines as Sendong, left more than 1,000 dead or missing. UNHCR’s team in Mindanao participated in a UN inter-agency mission on Monday and Tuesday (19-20 December) to assess damage and people’s needs.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMMC) reported 650 casualties in Cagayan de Oro and 283 in Iligan as of 6 a.m. Thursday. All over the country, NDRRMC recorded 1,010 deaths in 10 provinces six days after Typhon Sendong.
Of the total casualties, 950 are from Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Bukidnon. (Keith Bacongco / MindaNews)