We share the grief and pain of our fellow Filipinos severely affected by tropical storm Paeng that reportedly left at least 80 dead and billions of pesos in property damage and lost livelihood.
As of this writing, President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. (PBBM) welcomed the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) to declare a year-long national state of calamity.
PBBM is carefully assessing the extent of the destruction wrought by Paeng which may have aggravated the effects of previous natural disasters like super typhoon Karding in various regions.
The nation’s lawmakers are in sync with PBBM in tweaking the proposed P5.26 trillion 2023 national budget to ensure funding for recovery efforts and rehabilitation of areas hardest-hit by the series of tragedies.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez strongly supports NDRRMC’s proposal for declaration of national calamity for a more efficient delivery of services and recovery efforts, following reports of widespread destruction.
“We will do everything to help our kababayans affected by Paeng,” Speaker Romualdez stressed.
As Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), I am pleased to report that the agency in cooperation with the local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations, provided aid worth P23.3 million to Paeng victims.
The DSWD’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center said about 295,000 households or 1. 27 million people were affected by Paeng.
Just days before Paeng’s onslaught, we rushed to Abra province which was pinpointed as the epicenter of the recent 6.4-intensity earthquake.
The tremor, initially reported as intensity 6.7, damaged roads, bridges and historical structures, hindering access to several areas.
Back in July, at least 11 people were killed and 615 were injured when a magnitude 7.0 quake jolted Abra province, triggering landslides and cracks on the ground.
Among those most severely affected by the latest tropical storm are Western Visayas, Maguindanao and Zamboanga while heavy downpour caused flooding in Central Luzon, as well as Cavite south of Metro Manila.
It is truly sad that we have to endure these difficulties as we honor the memory of our departed loved ones on the occasion of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
We would like to assure everyone that the national leadership is doing everything it can to address the needs of calamity victims, particularly those made homeless by the strong rains, floods and landslides.
At my end, we will continue to bring more family food packs and other essential items to evacuation centers and relocation areas in calamity areas.
We will welcome good-hearted individuals who would like to volunteer to help repack FFPs at the DSWD operations centers.
Individuals or organizations can call Clifford Gabatin at 09569226155 or Ms. Nica at 09152921875 or visit the DSWD NROC at Chapel Road, Pasay.
We endured over two years of crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic that devastated more than 200 countries in terms of deaths and economic losses.
We must all agree, as PBBM said, the Filipino resiliency and unity have time and again prevailed and, this time again, will get us through this state of calamity.