Bukidnon placed under state of calamity

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/8 December) – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has declared Bukidnon under a state of calamity after Typhoon Pablo also devastated the province, with initial estimates for crop damage in the area pegged at P304 million.

The provincial board passed the resolution on Thursday, noting that Pablo brought substantial damage to the population, 40 percent of agricultural crops, and to infrastructure facilities.

The declaration will enable the local government to use its calamity funds estimated to be about P126 million, including savings since 2010.

The board cited that the typhoon affected the livelihood of population in the province’s two cities—Malaybalay and Valencia—and 14 of its 20 towns.

The provincial board also resolved further to ask President Aquino to include Bukidnon in the provinces where the state of calamity will be declared by the national government.
Nemesio Beltran Jr., SP majority floor leader, told MindaNews Aquino is authorized to declare a state of calamity whenever two or more provinces are affected so that national funds can be downloaded to help the local governments concerned.
“We can use our local calamity funds for relief goods and operations,” he added.

Beltran also reacted to the recommendation made by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to declare state of calamity in six provinces and Cagayan de Oro, excluding Bukidnon.

Benito Ramos, NDRRMC executive director, said Friday he would recommend to the President that a state of calamity be declared in Davao del Norte, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro and Palawan in addition to the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur.

Ma. Leah Barquez, point person of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the national office was waiting for the provincial government’s declaration.

Meanwhile in San Fernando town, 40 houses in the villages of San Jose and Cayaga were washed out by floods due to the swelling of the Salug River Thursday night until early next morning, because of rainfall, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) reported.

Both villages are in the banks of the Salug River, which flows to Davao del Norte.

Based on MSWDO’s records, a total of 86 houses were totally damaged and 107 partially damaged by Typhoon Pablo so far based on initial reports from the villages.

Five out of the town’s 24 barangays namely Tugop, Cawayan, Malayanan, Candelaria, and Makabuklad were isolated due to destroyed bridges and roads, it added.
The footbridge connecting Barangay Tumawas and Sitio Nala was also destroyed, forcing residents to ride on bamboo rafts.

Bulk of the P304 million initial estimate for crop damage in Bukidnon were attributed to damages in San Fernando town at P166.6 million, including P83.4 million to corn at tussling stage and P16.8 million in vegetative stage. The damage estimate includes P60.3 million to rice at reproductive stage, also in San Fernando town.

But Diosdado Igar, municipal agriculturist, clarified that they have yet to validate the estimates based on the signed reports from the 24 barangays. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)