• Labuyo leaves 2 dead

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    TYPHOON Labuyo (International codename: Utor), described as the strongest to hit the country this year, left at least two people dead and 44 missing after it slammed northern Philippines on Monday.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday identified the casualties as Reynaldo Dela Cruz, 53, a resident of Barangay Domang in Dupax Del Sur in Nueva Vizcaya province and Joemar Salicong, 22, from Benguet province.

    Still missing are at least 11 people, including nine fishermen, two of them were identified as Benny Amario, of San Antonio in San Agustin, Isabela and Julio Balanoba, 48, of Barangay Kayhuvukan in Basco, Batanes.

    The NDRRMC said affected by Labuyo were at least 7,100 families or 31,256 people in 154 villages in 45 towns and three cities in 12 provinces in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Cordillera.

    It said at least 229 houses were destroyed and 1,384 were damaged and some 69 evacuation centers were set up to accommodate the affected people.

    The NDRRMC also said that 1,158 were still stranded. While 23 roads and 13 bridges were damaged, while power outages were reported in 13 areas.

    Communication interruptions were also noted in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera.

    Damage to property as of early Tuesday was estimated more than P57.4 million in Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon, including P14.3 million in agriculture in Cagayan Valley.

    The damage to infrastructure in Aurora alone amounted to P38.6 million while damage to agriculture there amounted to P4.4 million.

    Pag-IBIG offers calamity loan for Labuyo victims

    Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday announced that members of the Home Development Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund who were affected by typhoon Labuyo may file their calamity loans with the Pag-IBIG’s various Branch offices.

    Binay, who is also the Pag-IBIG Chairman, said Pag-IBIG members residing in areas declared under a state of calamity are entitled to a calamity loan equivalent to 80 percent of their savings in the Fund.

    The loan is payable over a period of 24 months at an interest rate of 5.95  percent per annum.

    Members availing of the calamity loan also have the option to defer their first payment up to three months from the release of the loan and pay their first monthly amortization on the fourth month.

    “By giving them the choice to defer the payment, we can help ease the burdens of our kababayans living in typhoon-prone areas and those hit by other natural calamities,” Binay said.

    Binay said members who were affected by the recent typhoon only need to submit their Application for Calamity Loan together with two valid IDs at any of its branches.

    The application forms may be downloaded from the Pag-IBIG website or requested at the branches.

    “This is the Fund’s way of showing continuing concern for its members, and its way of helping out its members during their times of need,” he added.

    Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG President Darlene Marie Berberabe said once declarations of a state of calamity are made by the appropriate local government offices and as soon as weather permits, Pag-IBIG will also be deploying mobile offices in affected areas to receive members’ applications for calamity loans.

    Berberabe added that Pag-IBIG will accept applications for calamity loan up to 90 days from the time the area is declared under state of calamity.

    In June, Pag-IBIG disbursed P34.2 million to over 3,000 members in North Cotabato after an earthquake severely damaged the province.

    More recently, Pag-IBIG’s Cotabato Branch and extension office has been accepting and processing some 200 applications of members affected by flash floods in Cotabato City and parts of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.

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