• ‘Ineng’ damage costs more than P1 billion

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    A few days after Typhoon Ineng, the country’s ninth tropical cyclone, provinces in Central and Northern Luzon are still reeling from its devastating effects with the damage to agriculture, property and the rising number of casualties.

    According to Josefina Timoteo, Office of Civil Defense regional director and head of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the damage to the agriculture sector has reached P17,357,935.

    She added that Bataan has suffered the most with P14, 285,141 on rice, while Bulacan’s damaged was P2,919,933 also on rice and Zambales lost P152,861 on rice.

    In Cordillera, the damage to infrastructure, according to the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) has reached about P65 million while the cost of the houses damaged by the storm was pegged at P385,650.

    The Ilocos Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Council reports damage cost at more than P1 billion.

    The PDRRMRC said agriculture recorded an estimated P84 million worth of damage, infrastructure now stood at P990 million while the livestock industry has reported a P2.9 million as of Wednesday.

    Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos said the worst typhoons in the province come in during September and October.

    “Thus, there is a complete rethinking right now because our dikes, spillways, water containment are damaged and our farmers are scared to plant right away,” she said.

    The Ilocos Norte Provincial Agriculture Office said more than 85 hectares of farm field were totally destroyed with the damage to the rice sector reaching at least P61.2 million, followed by high value crops at P4.7 million, corn at P2.7 million and fisheries at P3.9 million.

    Vice President Jejomar C. Binay visited several areas in Ilocos Norte damaged by the typhoon and vowed to give assistance to the victims.

    Binay, together with Governor Marcos, visited Barangays Poblacion 1 and 2 in Pagudpud; Ablan, Bobon and Paayas in Burgos; and Estancia, Pragata, Nalvo and Davila in Pasuquin.

    Binay also pledged to bring seedlings for farmers who lost their crops.

    The death toll in the Cordillera region has further risen to 20 based on the CRDRRMC report released on Wednesday. There were also eight persons reported seriously injured and 12 people are still missing. The council said that at least 13,788 individuals or 730 families were affected.

    With the devastation caused by the typhoon, the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Benguet have been declared under the state of calamity.

    Kennon Road, the main thoroughfare in Benguet province, will soon be passable to local residents.

    Engr. Alex Castaneda, Department of Public Works and Highways head in Baguio said that Kennon Road clearing operation is underway. He assured that this would be open again in two to three weeks.

    Castaneda advised motorists to pass through Marcos Highway and Naguilian Road.

    Relief operations have started early this week through the efforts of local government units, agencies and the Philippine Air Force that airlifted some packages to hard to reach areas.

    On Wednesday, two newly acquired ships of the Philippine Navy, namely; BRP Ivatan and BRP Batak, arrived at the Poro Point seaport carrying 13,602 food packs from the social welfare department and intended for distribution to at least 70,000 typhoon victims in Ilocos Norte and some 1,000 families in Ilocos Sur, and Abra.

    Meanwhile, the municipal government of Luna in Isabela province has started flood and erosion control efforts along Magat River through the planting of two million bamboo and tree seedlings for areas prone to flooding and erosion.

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