Palace assures aid to families affected by ‘Bising’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021   •   282

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured that government agencies are ready for the onslaught of Typhoon Bising as it continues to move over the Philippine sea east of Catanduanes.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace is monitoring updates on the typhoon, adding that the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has conducted pre-disaster risk assessments at the national level.

The OCD has also issued guidance and advisories for the early preparation of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMC) and the local government units since April 14, he added.

Roque likewise assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has standby funds amounting to P556,438,277.65 in its central office and field offices, as well as stockpiles consisting of 370,058 Family Food Packs amounting to P188,605,445.38, as of April 17, 2021.

“The Department of Health has assured that they have dedicated teams looking into the impact of any disaster, especially in monitoring the evacuation centers in relation to COVID-19 protocol,” he said in a statement.

“They have likewise prepositioned assorted medicines/COVID supplies to regional offices,” he added.

The Palace official also said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has prepositioned all response assistance and instructed all unified commands to assist RDRRMCs in pre-emptive evacuation and other relevant operations.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, activated nine regions, reiterating the use of OPLAN LISTO and LGU assistance to response operations.

Citing a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Roque said that pre-emptive evacuation has been carried out in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern and Eastern Samar.

“Our concern is the safety of everyone. We, therefore, ask our people to remain alert and vigilant, cooperate with authorities and continue to observe minimum public health standards for protection against COVID-19,” the Palace official said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday reported that Typhoon Bising has slightly weakened as it continues to move over the Philippine Sea.

Bising is expected to bring heavy rains over the Bicol region and Northern Samar, which may trigger flooding and landslides especially in areas identified as highly susceptible to these hazards.

PAGASA said Bising will “continue moving slowly in the next 6 to 12 hours as it begins to turn generally northward over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes.”

“Afterwards, the typhoon will continue moving northward while gradually accelerating until Wednesday evening before turning northeastward and east-northeastward away from the landmass of Luzon,” it added.

“The recent weakening of “BISING” after reaching its peak intensity was caused by a recently completed eyewall replacement cycle. The typhoon is forecast to maintain its current intensity in the next 24 to 48 hours before gradually weakening throughout the remainder of the forecast period,” PAGASA said.

PGH may use presidential social fund to pay for repairs after fire — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) may tap the presidential social fund to pay for repairs of damage from a recent fire, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the PGH may access the fund to rehabilitate its facilities that were damaged during the fire that hit early Sunday morning.

“Doc Legaspi, kung anong kailangan ninyo sabihin ninyo lang,” Roque said, addressing PGH director Gerardo Legaspi, in an online press briefing.

The Palace official also emphasized President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to help the facility as he recalled the president’s offer of P100 million a month to aid the facility’s operations.

“Dati na siyang nag-offer ng malaking halaga, kung ano po ang kinakailangan ngayon para ma-repair ang mga damage, pwede pong i-tap yung presidential social fund dahil yan po ay dati na pong ini-offer sa PGH,” Roque said.

Roque noted that the PGH only uses P25 million per month from the presidential social fund for the treatment of their patients.

The PGH is one of the country’s main COVID-19 referral hospitals.

Legaspi, meanwhile, assured that the hospital’s COVID-19 response operations will not be hampered after the fire.

He only appealed to resume operations after a day since they are still working on the transfer of patients and clearing up of areas affected by the fire.

“We stand committed with our role as COVID referral center po but as I said just for today, hinihintay lang pong mabakante ang mga lugar, at safe sila mailagay kasi huling check namin may amoy pa ho ng smoke,” Legaspi said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for its part, assured that it will handle repair works on the hospital.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they have already inspected the facility to see the extent of damages.

“Syempre tutulong po kami sa repair ng na-damage na portion… Ask the engineering na arm of the government, syempre pag may mga pangangailangan ang ating government infrastructures kami po yung tutulong,” Villar said.

The cause of the fire that hit the PGH is still under investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

‘Bising’ affects over 300,000 people; leaves over P200M damage in agri, infra

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Four people were killed and a total of 302,564 persons or 75,448 families were affected due to the onslaught of Typhoon Bising, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Friday.

In its latest situational report, the NDRRMC said the affected residents were from 1,030 barangays in Regions II, V, VIII, and CARAGA. Of which, 2,870 families or 12,228 persons are currently staying in 170 evacuation centers, while 4,479 families or 17,779 persons sought shelter with their relatives and/or friends.

The number of people reported as injured remains at 13 in Regions V, VII, VIII, and XI, the agency said.

All six road sections and bridges, previously reported not passable in Regions V and VIII, are now open to vehicular traffic.

The power supply in 54 out of 63 cities and municipalities in Regions V, VII, and VII were already restored, the NDRRMC said.

A total of 1,468 houses were also reported damaged due to the typhoon.

The NDRRMC said a total of P218,288,528.50 worth of damage to agriculture was incurred in Regions V and VIII; while a total of P10,550,000 worth of damage to infrastructure was also reported in the said regions.

A total of 738 passengers, 512 rolling cargoes, and 34 vessels were stranded in ports of CALABARZON, Region V, VII, and CARAGA.

Based on the latest PAGASA update, Typhoon Bising may exit the Philippine area of responsibility over the weekend.

Rough to very rough sea conditions, however, are expected over the northern Luzon seaboards as the typhoon accelerates away from the landmass.

NDRRMC: 4 dead, 13 hurt due to onslaught of ‘Bising’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Four individuals were killed and 13 others were reported injured due to the onslaught of Typhoon Bising, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.

In its latest situational report, the NDRRMC said casualties were reported in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and Davao regions.

The agency said a total of 60,601 families or 235,752 persons were affected by the typhoon in 965 barangays in Regions II, V, VIII, and CARAGA.

Of this number, 4,511 families or 18,603 persons are currently staying inside 252 evacuation centers, while 6,269 families or 24,470 individuals sought shelter with their relatives/friends.

The NDRRMC also reported that a total of 1,030 houses were damaged by the typhoon.

‘Bising’ also destroyed infrastructures in Regions V and VIII amounting to P10,550,000. Four infrastructures were also reported damaged in CARAGA.

A total of P211,663,400.50 worth of damage to agriculture was incurred in Regions V and VIII.

The state weather bureau said Bising has accelerated and continues to maintain its strength as it moves away from the landmass.

It was last spotted at 390 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 185 km/h.

All tropical cyclone wind signals have been lifted as of 5 p.m., the state weather agency said.


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