Massive Flood Ignites Unity Among Pangasinenses and Support from NGAs

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – In the midst of the massive flooding caused by the torrential rains, induced by tropical storm “Inday” and tropical depression “Josie”, Pangasinan saw the unity of its people with the aid coming from the national government demonstrating the “bayanihan spirit.”

In urging his provincemates “to work in unity to rise above the storm,” Governor Amado I. Espino, III reiterated that the provincial government assures the health and welfare of Pangasinenses, particularly those heavily affected by the massive flooding.

Governor Espino commended the full support of the national agencies, as follows: PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, DSWD, among others.

Also hailing the quick response and communication of the local government units (LGU) and their municipal disaster risk reduction offices with the provincial government, Governor Espino said that these result to a resilient Pangasinan with lower casualty record.

Governor Espino said the provincial government expedites its rehabilitation program to be implemented after the completion of the assessment and final damages of the weather disturbance.

“Tuloy – tuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay ng relief goods sa mga nasa evacuation center pa, pero ngayon ay minamadali na naming ang paghahanda ng rehab plan para masimulan nang matulungan ang mga magsasaka at mangigisda at ma-repair ang mga roads, bridges at mga dike para protected ang mga estudyante natin sa pagpasok sa eskwela,” Governor Espino said.

Joining Governor Espino for an aerial rapid assessment on the massive flooding in Pangasinan on July 23 was Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Melchito Castro, who extolled the swift disaster response of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) from pre-emptive evacuation to rescue and relief operations.

Earlier that day, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan convened and passed a resolution declaring a state of calamity in the province of Pangasinan due to the damages caused by the incessant rains dumped by tropical storm “Inday” and tropical depression “Josie.”

The declaration of state of calamity allowed the provincial government, and its component municipal and city local government units to use its respective calamity fund for rehabilitation efforts.

Meanwhile, on July 26, the national government thru the Department of Agriculture led by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has turned over to the province Php81.6 million worth of agricultural assistance for the rehabilitation program for disaster-affected agriculture and fishery industries

Over P81 million worth of hybrid palay seeds (12,000 bags), certified palay seeds (20,000 bags) and hybrid corn seeds (100 bags) was awarded to the province of Pangasinan which will be granted to various farmer organizations of the 32,000-hectare affected farmland.

As of July 27, floodwater continues to subside in low-lying areas of the following localities, which were then gravely affected by flooding: Bani, Mangatarem, Alaminos City, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Labrador, Mabini, Lingayen, Bugallon, Urdaneta City, Malasiqui, Agno, Natividad, Dasol, Bayambang, Bautista, Dagupan City, San Carlos City, Bolinao, Infanta, Urbiztondo, Manaoag, Rosales, Aguilar, Tayug, Alcala, Basista.

Floodwater in low-lying access roads, likewise, continues to subside.

Evacuated residents from these localities have also went back to their respective houses.

The flooding claimed the lives of 20-year old Aileen Sison of Bedania, Mangatarem who died of drowning, while Darius Baldivicio of Bautista, 20, died of snake bite.

Bolinao fishermen – Jeric Caasi, Ranillo Campana, Bunso Vergara, Minandro Caasi, Yvin Lopez – who were reported missing when they ventured to the sea were all found alive in Ilocos Sur.

As of 11 am today, water level of the San Roque dam is 273.07 meters above sea level (masl), or 6.93 below the 280 masl spilling level.

Initial reports on the extent of damage to agriculture has reached Php700 million and Php500 million on damage to infrastructure.

Starting July 17 when the monsoon rains “Habagat” was felt in the province, Governor Espino alerted the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMO), as he started releasing public advisories for his provincemates to take necessary precautionary measures.

By: Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca

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