TUGUEGARAO City, Cagayan—Almost P8 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure projects had been reported by the Provincial Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office inflicted by Super Typhoon “Lawin” last month.
Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said “The devastation throughout the province caused by “Lawin” meant P5 billion worth of agricultural damage and P3 billion in infrastructure, with 25,000 houses totally blown up and 100,000 partially destroyed.”
Mamba stressed Cagayanos need a “Yolanda”-like rehabilitation plan to enable them to bounce back from the ruin, at a time when thousands of farmers were waiting for their harvest east and west of the mighty Cagayan River.
In a press release, provincial information officer Rogie Sending quoted Mamba as saying that despite the much lower casualty count from “Lawin” compared to 2013’s Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” Cagayan “obviously” suffered heavily in agriculture and infrastructure.
In an interview, Mamba said there were only eight casualties from “Lawin” compared to thousands during the onslaught of “Yolanda” in November 2013.
Typhoon “Yolanda,” considered the most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history, struck the Philippines, and cut a swathe of destruction in northern Philippines, particularly the Cagayan Valley, the Cordilleras and the Ilocos region.
A Yolanda-like rehabilitation plan—government building houses for the victims and giving them cash assistance to help them cope with the devastation—would be of great help to every Cagayano. Mamba said.
Mamba said the local government looked forward to seeing the reconstruction of damaged buildings by the government.
Officials said it was clear thousands of Cagayan residents no longer have homes and livelihood so it would be of great help if the national government would allocate to residents a portion of the calamity fund for the rehabilitation of the province.
Mamba said the rehabilitation plan would also include temporary jobs for farmers who would be unable to harvest crops for the next several months.
The provincial government also plans to tap typhoon survivors as workers when the reconstruction of public infrastructure begins.
Mamba is hoping the national government will see the need for a rehabilitation plan, especially since the calamity fund of the province and the towns are not enough, based on the damage brought by the strongest typhoon ever to hit Cagayan Valley.
The Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the overall damage to agriculture is pegged at P5,746,052,600.
The following were affected by Lawin:
P5,036,930,000 worth of rice crops
P498,876,950 worth of corn crops
P143,632,500 worth of high-value commercial vegetable crops
P66,613,550 worth of fisheries
Lawin also left P2,821,680,600 worth of damage to classrooms, offices, district hospitals, the provincial capitol, sports facilities, provincial roads, and bridges.
The cost of damage to infrastructure does not include more than 25,000 totally damaged houses and 93,834 partially damaged houses.
With the thousands of Cagayanos without a house and work, officials said it would be of great help if the national government allocated a slice from its P150 billion Calamity Fund for Cagayan’s Rehabilitation Plan.