Latest Stories

Collapsed bridge delays relief delivery


RESIDENTS walk near the damaged bridge and pile of logs in the typhoon-hit Baganga town in Davao Oriental on Dec. 8. More than 500 people have been killed and scores of others remain missing after Typhoon “Pablo,” the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, pounded the region. JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

CARAGA, Davao Oriental—Vice Gov. Jose Mayo Almario, his wife Nancy, his office staff and workers of the family-owned bakeshop had to unload the relief goods from the truck and bring these to a waiting bamboo raft.

The raft was made solely for transporting the goods across  Manurigao River after its bridge, the Baogo Bridge, collapsed at the height of yyphoon “Pablo.”  Floodwater uprooted trees and carried logs.

It took Almario’s team some two hours to get the goods across the river. From the other side, the team carried the goods to the highway where another truck was waiting.

“If the bridge was not destroyed, it would have been easier to transport the relief goods,” Almario told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Baogo Bridge connects the towns of Caraga and Baganga, which were badly hit by the typhoon. But its destruction has given the provincial government no choice but to use a Navy ship which means an eight-hour travel from Mati City to Baganga.

While people on the Caraga side have easy access to food, those on Baganga wait in vain for relief from the government.

Almario, however, could not explain why the bridge was destroyed, even after seeing logs and uprooted trees still piled up at its foundation. “Maybe it was just the floodwater,” he said, apparently wanting to elude questions on who cut the logs.

“You ask the mayor,” he added.

Caraga Mayor William Dumaan could not be reached when the Inquirer tried to call him several times.

Residents agreed that the bridge was destroyed by logs and uprooted trees, but they would not say, for security reasons, who were behind the cutting of the logs.

“Mahirap na (That would be difficult),” a resident said.

The Inquirer, however, saw logs and uprooted trees beached along the shores of Barangay (village) Tambak in Baganga and Barangay Baculin in Caraga.

“These came from the river,” a resident said as he pointed to the logs piled on the shoreline a few meters outside his house.

From where he stood, the logs and uprooted trees cover at least 3 kilometers of the shoreline.

Government officials, however, seemed to have no time to check on what really caused the bridge to collapse. The evacuees needed to be fed.

“That’s why I, my family and my staff members did what we just did—cross the river. The evacuees are hungry. We need to feed them,” Almario said.

Almario’s team distributed the relief goods to residents of Barangay Lukod, which is far from the Baganga town center where the Navy ship docks,  but is nearer the bridge.

“The relief goods don’t reach us,” resident Conception Gonzales said as she stood by the gate, the only remaining structure in what used to be her home in Lukod.

The bridge is a symbol of hope and desperation for the people here. People, paying P50 per person for a banca ride, cross the river bringing in food, water, gasoline and other provisions for their loved ones in Baganga and Cateel towns.

More people, however, cross the river from Baganga town. They want to escape desperation.

Private Rhean Baliguat of the Army’s 67th Infantry Division said more people from Baganga cross the river.

“A lot of them have children and old people, maybe their parents, with them,” said Baliguat, who is part of the team of soldiers assigned in the area.

“They are leaving Baganga and Cateel,” he added.

Ferdinand Perdizu, a resident of Mati City, some 105 km away, did just that.  He “smuggled” his sister-in-law, Leonor Escodillo, and her 1-year-old son, John Kyle, out of Baganga on Saturday afternoon.

“Life is so hard there,” Perdizu told the Inquirer. “They better live with us in Mati than suffer there,” he said.

Escodillo said her son was ill with colds and fever, and there were no doctors who could attend to their needs in Baganga.

Carrying oversized backpacks on his shoulder and a travelling bag in the arm, Perdizu led his sister-in-law and his nephew to a waiting bus on the Caraga side of the river.

“I still have to go back there tonight to get my in-laws,” he said. “I need to save them,” he added.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: News , Philippine disasters , Regions , Typhoon Pablo

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Korea ferry captain defends actions, bodies seen in ship
  • Traffic starts to build up at toll plazas on Black Saturday
  • Flash floods hit 9 Tagum villages
  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • Sports

  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace