LINGAYEN — “Tulong-tulong po tayong bumangon sa ganitong sakuna.”
Governor Amado I. Espino, III made this remark in an interview by a local TV network at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office’s (PDRRMO’s) staging area yesterday, July 23, after he made an aerial rapid assessment on the massive flooding in Pangasinan.
“The flooding is unprecedented because the volume of rain in Pangasinan in four days is equivalent to the normal rainfall in three months,” the governor said as he quoted the assessment issued by a weather bureau.
Governor Espino was joined by the Office of Civil Defense Region-1 Director Melchito Castro and PDRRMO executive officer Rhodyn Lunchivar Oro aboard a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter.
Earlier that day, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan convened and passed a provincial resolution declaring a state of calamity in the province of Pangasinan due to damages caused by the incessant rains brought about by Tropical Storm “Inday” and Tropical Depression “Josie.”
“The whole province has been gravely affected, destroying agricultural products and infrastructure and affecting numerous families and individuals,” states SP resolution #473-2018 jointly authored by the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The resolution noted that the initial reports of the PDRRMO have recorded P1, 084,080,466 total amount of damages comprising the estimated amount of damages to agriculture worth P648, 380,466 and infrastructure amounting to P435, 700,000.
Gov. Espino said that this damage estimates are based on initial reports and would go much higher when more reports on cost of damages will be submitted. “Wala pa nga dito ang damages to fisheries,” he said.
The provincial chief executive said that half of the province were flooded and the PDRRMO has recorded 300 barangays to be severely affected. Reports, as of July 22, there were 10,528 families or 43,335 individuals total accumulated number of evacuees due to flooding.
Stressing that the natural calamity has ignited the “bayanihan spirit” of Pangasinenses for a unified effort in the relief and rescue operations, Governor Espino commended the full support of the national agencies, as follows: PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, and many others.
Governor Espino has been working round-the-clock at the command center of the PDRRMO to direct the rescue and relief operations led by the composite teams of various offices of the Provincial Government with the full support of the frontline national government agencies.
The governor also commended the various Municipal and City DRRMCs for their close coordination with the PDRRMO and quick response during the fast rise of floodwaters which have saved lives.
“Patuloy ang pagbibigay natin ng tulong sa mga Municipal at City DRRMCs simula sa pag augment sa kanilang rescue teams, rescue trucks and equipment and relief goods,” the governor said.
After we complete the assessment of damages, Gov. Espino said that the planning and implementation of massive rehabilitations works will start posthaste.
In the meantime, the governor urged the mayors and school administrators to declare a localized suspension of classes on July 24, 2018 in their respective localities. (OMV)