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Vegetable prices surge as Benguet farmers brace for ‘Ompong’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018


BENGUET, Philippines – The provincial government has advised vegetable farmers to harvest their crops before it is too late as a strong cyclone is expected to hit the country.

Benguet Provincial Administrator Noel Ngolob also reminds them to refrain from nigh time delivery as roads can be slippery and dangerous amid the inclement weather.

“Kung pwede na silang makapag-harvest ng mga harvestable products, they will do it. Then we also have agreed that they will be advised not to travel at night kasi kung minsan dahil sa hinahabol nila iyong presyo ng gulay, they would want to bring their produce to the market immediately even during night time. Pero iyon ang mga time na delikado. As much as possible walang mag babiyahe ng gabi kapag nandito na ang bagyo,” Ngolob said.

In preparation for the potential super typhoon “Ompong,” some vegetable farmers, apart from early harvest, already placed plastic protections to save their crops.

As expected, vegetable prices surged in Benguet as farmers battle the impact of the inclement weather on their livelihood.

“Lahat na tumaas (ng) doble…Ang presyo ngayon (ay) masyado nang tumaas,” said vegetable grower Lito Diclas.

Some of the vegetables affected by price surge include:

Potato                  P35 to P42/kg

Cabbage              P50 to P105/kg

Celery                  P100 to P250/kg

Cauliflower         P100 to P250/kg

Meanwhile, prices of the following vegetables have marked down.

Green leeks        P200 to P120/kg

Wombok             P70 to P40/kg

Carrots                P150 to P100/kg

The price of radish, however, remained stable at P100 per kilogram. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

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‘Ompong’ deaths in the Cordilleras climb to 110; missing 25

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Retrieval operations at the landslide site in Itogon, Benguet


BENGUET, Philippines – Authorities are pushing very hard to complete as soon as possible the retrieval of the remaining bodies under the rubble of the landslide that struck Barangay Ucab in the town of Itogon, Benguet.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has announced that it is already impossible to see signs of life under the rubble at this point after 11 days of search.

Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino agreed and called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to step in.

“Siguro dapat si DSWD ay harapin na iyong mga pamilyang nag hihintay dyan. Ito na iyong community counseling siguro. Harapin na. Sabihin na na wala nang pagasang makitang buhay ang mga kamag anak. Ito na siguro ang meron kayong mga counselor dito na pwedeng magbigay ng stress debriefing, trauma counseling. Kayo na iyon,” he said.

Based on the latest tally of the Cordillera Risk Reduction and Management Council, as of September 26, the death toll in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong in the entire Cordillera Region has hit 110 and 25 people are still missing.

In Barangay Ucab, the number of fatalities already climbed to 64 while 16 people remain missing. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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DNA sampling starts on victims’ kin in Itogon landslide

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Around 30 individuals are still patiently waiting at the training center of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Baguio City.

All of them are hoping that anytime soon they will be able to see at least the bodies of their loved ones buried beneath the rubble of a landslide that descended upon a barangay in Itogon, Benguet during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong a week ago.

On Tuesday, September 25, four more bodies were recovered from the landslide site.

The next day, authorities began the DNA sampling of the victims’ kin to speed up the process of identifying and claiming the bodies.

The DSWD Cordillera has also started processing burial assistance for relatives of those who are still missing.

This, after Regional Director Ruben Carandang of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) declared that there were no signs of life anymore under the rubble.

The OCD also declared that the operation would be search and retrieval starting today.

According to the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), the death toll from the landslide has already reached 107 with 87 from Benguet province (82 from Itogon) and 31 still missing. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

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Photographers embark on risky relief operations in isolated Itogon village

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018


Members of the Baguio-Benguet photographers, hikers, artists club take on dangerous trails to bring relief goods to the remote village of Saldine after Typhoon Ompong isolated it by triggering landslides that blocked roads leading to it.


BENGUET, Philippines — Several places in Itogon, Benguet remain isolated more than a week after typhoon Ompong struck the province.

These include Saldine Village after roads leading to it were blocked by landslides.

Last Saturday, September 22, members of the Baguio-Benguet photographers, hikers, artists club, namely Clinton Aniversario, Gabriel Braulio Jr, Jethro Gatdula, Jhael Pua and Rey Costina headed to Saldine Village.

From Baguio City, they packed some relief goods they bought out of their own pockets and gathered from their friends.

“Kasi kung hindi dahil sa drive ng UNTV na mag-distribute ng relief drive sa Luneta, hindi namin makiita iyon. Baka nandoon kami sa ibang lugar. Buti na lang at sumama kami sa first drive nila,” said photographer Clinton Aniversario.

They trekked their way from trail Tuding to Saldine since vehicles could no longer be used to traverse the impassable roads.

The group trudged for hours, enduring muddy trails, steep and undulating hills, and deep cliffs to reach the village.

“Around five kilometers ang layo pero dahil sa may buhat-buhat kami na times two yung layo… pero sa aming experience na hikers, alam na po namin kasi nasubukan na rin naming nadulas kaya nag-safety precaution rin kami para hindi kami maging casualty rin. Ang nagpahirap din na isa ay umuulan noong araw na iyon, kaya madulas din ang daan,” said Aniversario.

The group took photos of the surroundings in between breaks of their taxing journey, to show to people who have never heard of the said village in Northern Luzon.

The photos they took clearly showed the devastating effects that typhoon Ompong left in the remote area.

Iyon ang pinakamagandang pakiramdam, kasi biglang maalis yung pagod mo na makita mo silang tuwang tuwa. Hindi mo na mairerecord yung tuwa nila kasi ikaw natutuwa ka na rin. Buti naalala niyo kami. Kami yung first na nakaalala. Sabi namin, kami tagabuhat lang kami. Ang pasalamatan niyo po yung mga nagbigay,” said the photographer.

Clinton and his colleagues believe that being a follower of art, their efforts do not only stop in their masterpiece, but it extends to becoming part of the solution of problems that are caused by disasters. — Jun Soriao | UNTV News & Rescue



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