‘Lando’ damage hits P9B; death toll now 46
The damage from Typhoon “Lando” (international name: Koppu), which struck Luzon last week, had ballooned to P9 billion, the national disaster office said Friday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Lando caused P9,428,796,667.93 in agriculture and infrastructure, making it the most destructive typhoon to hit the country so far this year.
The NDRRMC said damage to agriculture and livestock came up to P8,242,946,236.93, while damage to infrastructure reached P1,185,850,431.
As of yesterday, the death toll had climbed to 46, with 82 people injured and five others still missing.
The NDRRMC also monitored 498 typhoon-related incidents in the past week, with 479 floods noted in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Around 295,835 families, or 1,407,805 people, were affected by the typhoon all over Luzon; 24,022 families, or 108,688 people, were still in 424 evacuation centers as of Friday.
So far, the government has given P27,664,278.98 worth of relief assistance to typhoon victims, the NDRRMC said.
It said two provinces, one city and nine towns were placed under a state of calamity.
The agency also reported that hundreds of schools all over Luzon, including Metro Manila, were damaged in the typhoon.
It said 751 schools were affected, 240 of them destroyed and 511 partially damaged.
Central Luzon—parts of which are still submerged in floods—had the most number of destroyed schools, 86, while Cagayan Valley had the most number of partially damaged schools, 279.
The typhoon also affected 26,124 houses in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the CAR, of which 3,203 were destroyed and 22,921 partially damaged.
Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) had the most number of destroyed houses, 1,225, mostly in Quezon province.
Central Luzon had the most number of partially damaged houses, 8,489. Nueva Ecija province registered the highest figure in the region, with 6,410 partially damaged houses.
The government has begun clearing roads of landslides and debris carried by flash floods. As of Friday, the number of unpassable roads went down to 92, while 11 bridges remained impassable.
Sailings have resumed. Only eight passengers and three motorboats remain stranded at the Aparri port because of rough seas.
On Friday, Sen. Ralph Recto proposed that typhoon victims be taken into the government’s conditional cash transfer program so they would have a steady source of assistance until they can get back on their feet.
The program provides a monthly cash assistance to the poorest families, given in exchange for sending their children to school and pregnant women submitting themselves for regular checkups.
Recto said a certain percentage of the allocation for the program should be reserved yearly for calamity victims.
“Calamity victims should not live from one relief bag to another. One of the best forms of aid is the [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program] because it is regular, guaranteed and sustained. That is the program that will really tide them over, [as] it is not temporary or short-term,” Recto said in a statement.
He said calamity victims should receive help also from other government programs like the “cash-for-work” in the reconstruction effort and free seeds in the rehabilitation of agriculture.
Recto said a portion of the 2016 budget for the Conditional Cash Transfer program could be set aside for the victims of Typhoon Lando.
He said it had been done in the 2014 budget, with the Senate allocating funds for 20,000 victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), which ravaged Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
The proposed 2016 cash transfer budget is P62.67 billion. The bulk will go to 4.4 million families under the regular program, while P3.3 billion of the fund would be set aside for more than 218,000 families under the modified program. The modified program covers homeless families and indigenous peoples.
Recto said a new category could be made for calamity victims, or 2 percent of the annual ceiling could be earmarked for them.
Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Escudero said many local government units were apparently unaware that they could access a P1-billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) that they could use for programs and projects to deal with the effects of climate change.
In a statement, Escudero urged local officials to submit proposals for projects to mitigate and deal with extreme weather events to the Climate Change Commission, the secretariat of the PSF board which would choose which programs to fund.
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