GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 29 December) – At least 30 media workers in the Caraga region, most of them from radio, lost their jobs when super typhoon ‘Odette’ slammed the area on December 16.
‘Odette’ made its first two of nine landfalls in the country in the world-famous tourist destination, Siargao, at 1:30 p.m. on December 16 and at 3:10 p.m. in the province of Dinagat Islands.
Rey Suravasquez, station manager of a local radio station DXMS All Star FM in Surigao City told MindaNews on Tuesday that it has been 12 days since he and his workmates have been out of work.
“We are totally out of work and we are financially affected,” Suravasques lamented in his social media post.
Suravasquez said that while the station’s building is still standing, its tower was toppled by the Category 5 typhoon.
“We don’t know when we will get back on our feet,” he told MindaNews.
Edito Mapayo, station manager of Banat Radio based in Placer town in Surigao del Norte said their station was not spared by ‘Odette.’
“Wrecked badly,” was how he described the station after ‘Odette.’
He said his sole income comes from the income generated by his radio station.
Mapayo said the shutdown of the station affected the entire organization.
But not all radio stations were silenced by ‘Odette.’
Tirso Clerigo, station manager of RPN-DXKS said, they have on-and-off operations.
“We use generator to power our station in order for us to deliver the news to our listeners,” he said, adding they turn it off after the news program.
‘Odette’ destroyed power lines both from the grid and the local power utilities.
Like RPN-DXKS, radio station DXSJ in Suigao City is also operating on and off, said news anchor Sol Monteros.
“This hurt us bad as advertisers won’t place their advertisements,” she said.
In General Luna, Siargao, a radio station owned by Veronico Solloso, incumbent vice mayor, is a total wreck.
He said their equipment, tower and office have been destroyed, rendering their staff jobless.
Kevin Linaac, a reporter of Bombo Radyo in Butuan City said they are offering three slots to journalists who lost their jobs.
Natz Corbeta, a stringer of GMA 7, did not lose his job but his house in Pilar town in Siargao was badly damaged. Fellow reporter Raffy Tima of GMA 7, who covered the typhoon aftermath in Siargao Island, offered some help. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)