At least P4-B needed for relief ops, rehab works in Mindanao quake-hit areas – NDRRMC

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019   •   288

Soldiers and rescue workers inspect a damaged hotel in the aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, in Kidapawan city, Cotabato province, Philippines, 31 October 2019. EPA-EFE / CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday said it needs at least P4-billion for the initial rehabilitation and reconstruction works in areas heavily-hit by recent earthquakes in Mindanao.

NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said they have already presented a recommendation to the President during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night.

The recommendation includes the sustainment of relief operations and fund requirements for reconstruction and rehabilitation works in quake-stricken municipalities.

Part of the fund will also be used to help local government units whose calamity funds have already been used up.

“Kasama na ‘yung mga initially identified reconstruction projects by DPWH. Not all of the amount of P4 billion is needed immediately,” Jalad told reporters in a briefing.

The NDRRMC chief, however, clarified that the said amount is still tentative as the exact amount for the necessary works will still be determined in the agency’s post-disaster assessment.

Jalad added that relief operations in evacuation centers by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are still ongoing.

Other government agencies, including the Philippine Navy, also sent additional assets such as mobile kitchens, water treatment, and cargo trucks, to help in relief efforts.

Jalad also said they are now coordinating with concerned agencies regarding proposals on housing projects and relocation for families who lost their homes due to recent earthquakes.

Residents from identified danger zones as recommended by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau will be given priority in these projects, he added.   

“‘Yung project proposals sinisimulan pa lang… We should see the implementation of the project the soonest,” Jalad said.

Three strong earthquakes jolted parts of Mindanao last month. A magnitude 6.3 quake struck on Oct. 16, magnitude 6.6 on Oct. 29 and magnitude 6.5 on Oct. 31.

The epicenters of these tremors were traced in Tulunan town in Cotabato.

The NDRRMC said the number of fatalities from these powerful temblors has climbed to 28 while more than 400 people were injured. The quakes affected thousands of families and destroyed many structures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

SOMCO simplifies free toll procedure for Taal relief operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020

Members of Manila police load relief aid, victims of the Taal Volcano eruption, onto a truck in Manila, Philippines, 19 January 2020. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

The Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corporation (SOMCO) has simplified the free toll procedure at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Star Toll for the Taal relief operations.

Somco has allotted designated areas on the two expressway where vehicles can avail single exit passes.

Somco President Manuel Bonoan said they will provide a car pass where vehicles will provide a short information about the donors, vehicle plate number, and the destination.

Bonoan also said that a toll supervisor will inspect the vehicle.

“Ibibigay na sa kaniya iyon kapag na-inspect na iyong sasakyan at ibibigay na lang sa teller kung saan siya mage-exit, (The driver will receive the pass after the car inspection and he will then give it to the teller at the exit toll gate),” he said.

He also reminds the public that all vehicles with single exit pass should go through the teller on the cash lane and not on the Radio-frequency identification (RFID) lane.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Residents, NGOs urged not to violate ‘off-limits’ order on Taal’s danger zone

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several residents are risking their lives to salvage their belongings and animals despite the dangers of returning to Taal volcano island.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reiterated that going inside the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone in the volcano island is illegal and highly dangerous because Taal Volcano may erupt anytime.

Kung ni-rescue man po nila, mabuti at nagpapasalamat po tayo na ganun na nabuhay po ang mga alaga nila (It’s good and we appreciate that they were able to rescue their animals alive),” NDRRMC Spokesperson Mark Timbal said.

Pero ang ikinakakaba po naming ay iyong kanilang pagbalik. Kasi they violated an ‘off-limits’ arrangement natin at saka ‘yung mandatory evacuation order for that particular area (But what we are concerned about is their journey back to the safe zone. They are violating our ‘off-limits’ arrangement and the mandatory evacuation order for that particular area),” he added.

Several images and videos were uploaded on social media showing residents ferrying their livestock to the shore.

Also, several members of animal welfare teams were reportedly caught stranded on the island.

According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the three members of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were already rescued to safety.

“Kaninang umaga, tumawag kasi sila na medyo na-stranded nga daw sila. So, they asked for help to contact ang Coast Guard na mabilis naman pong umaksyon. Nakuha naman po sila (They called this morning asking for help to contact the Coast Guard because they were stranded. The Coast Guard immediately launched a rescue operation and they were brought to safety),” explained PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera.

The NDRRMC said residents and NGOs should coordinate first with them before they venture to the danger zone to discuss proper rescue procedures in rescuing the animals.

Maganda po ang intensyon nila, pero (Their intention is good but) what we are worried about is, what if something bad happens and they are within the 14-kilometer danger zone,” Timbal said.

Hindi po natin maga-guarantee ang safety ng mga taong ito (We cannot guarantee the safety of these people),” he added. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

NDRRMC: Over 50,000 people affected by Taal eruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 15, 2020

The number of people affected by the Taal eruption has already reached over 50,000 according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In their 6:00 am report on January 15, the NDRRMC recorded a total of 53,019 persons or 12,486 families in Batangas and Cavite that were affected by the Taal eruption.

Around 10,000 of these families or over 43,000 persons are currently taking shelter in 217 evacuation centers.

READ: Intense earthquakes in Taal indicate possible ‘explosive eruption’ — PHIVOLCS

The NDRRMC has also recorded 466 volcanic earthquakes. Cracks can already be seen in houses and roads in Batangas due to the volcanic earthquakes.—AAC

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