BANGUED, Abra – Four provinces in the Cordillera have been declared under a state of calamity following the enormous damage to infrastructure and livelihoods inflicted by the wrath of Supertyphoon Egay in most parts of Northern Luzon over the past several days.
Under Resolution No. 143, series of 2023, the Abra provincial board declared a state of calamity in the entire province after the provincial social welfare and development officer, provincial veterinarian, provincial engineer, Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO), provincial agriculturist, local governments and other national agencies reported initial damages of affected households, livestock, government buildings, business establishments, electric poles, water pipelines and agricultural crops during a special session that was recently conducted.
The board recognized that the partial extent of damages incurred by various sectors in the province was enormous warranting the declaration of a state of calamity in the province to allow the timely utilization of available funds to respond to the immediate needs of the affected sectors.
Earlier, the provincial governor requested for the holding of a special session of the provincial board for the declaration of a state of calamity in the entire province due to the enormous damage that was inflicted by Supertyphoon Egay to the various sectors of Abra.
On the other hand, the Mountain Province provincial board passed Resolution No. 2023-360 that declared the whole province under a state of calamity because of the significant effects of Supertyphoon Egay on lives, the economy and environment.
According to the said resolution, the Mountain Province Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reports and initial assessments from the different local disaster risk reduction and management councils showed severe damages on social, agricultural and infrastructure sectors due to the heavy rains and strong winds brought by Supertyphoon Egay with partial cost of damages amounting to P423.2 million.
The board admitted that Mountain Province was not spared by the wrath of Supertyphoon Egay that ravaged the different parts of the country for a number of days.
The PDRRMC, in Resolution No. 2023-028, recommended the declaration of the province under a state of calamity due to the impact of the weather disturbance.
In Luna, Apayao, the province has been declared under a state of calamity in the aftermath of the devastating impact of Super Typhoon (ST) Egay, which struck the province on July 25 and 26.
The natural disaster brought about widespread destruction, causing loss of lives, infrastructural damage, and displacement of communities, with damages now totaling up to 1.2 billion pesos.
The Apayao provincial government, in coordination with national disaster response agencies, swiftly implemented the declaration of a state of calamity to expedite the allocation of resources and enable a more effective response to the urgent needs of the affected communities.
Supertyphoon Egay packed maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour, and brought torrential rains, flash floods, and landslides. The severity of the typhoon caught many residents off guard, leading to devastating consequences in various towns and barangays across the province.
As of the latest reports, some individuals are still reported missing. Search-and-rescue operations are underway in collaboration with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and volunteer groups. The authorities are working tirelessly to locate and assist those who are stranded or in distress.
The typhoon’s impact on infrastructure has been extensive, with power and communication lines severely damaged or completely disrupted. Major roads and bridges have also been rendered impassable due to landslides and debris. The provincial government is coordinating with relevant agencies to swiftly restore critical services and establish temporary shelters for those displaced by the disaster.
In response to the situation, humanitarian aid and relief efforts from the national government are pouring into Apayao. Relief goods, medical supplies, and emergency equipment are being mobilized to provide assistance to affected communities. However, access to some of the more remote areas remains challenging due to the extent of damage caused by the typhoon.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., expressed his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and pledged the full support of the national government in the recovery and rebuilding process. He assured the affected residents that resources and assistance would be provided without delay.
Meanwhile, Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. are urging residents in low-lying areas and landslide-prone areas to remain vigilant, as the risk of further flooding and landslides persists in the aftermath of the typhoon.
The declaration of a state of calamity empowers the provincial government to mobilize emergency funds and resources more efficiently, which is crucial in addressing the immediate needs of the affected population. As the situation develops, efforts to rehabilitate and reconstruct the devastated communities will begin in earnest.
Authorities are continuously monitoring the situation and coordinating disaster response efforts. People are urged to extend their assistance through donations to accredited organizations involved in relief operations to aid the communities heavily affected by Supertyphoon Egay.
In Benguet, the provincial board recently declared the whole province under a state of calamity following the enormous damages inflicted by the wrath of Supertyphoon Egay to life and limb provincewide.
Under Resolution No. 2023-688, the board acted on the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) contained in its Resolution No. 2023-03 that Benguet be declared under a state of calamity based on the initial reports of damages and losses.
Among the basis for the declaration of the province under a state of calamity include the fact that critical incidents such as damaged houses, casualties and evacuees were reported in 103 of the 140 or 73 percent of the barangays; widespread damages to lifelines and critical infrastructures including roads, water systems, telecommunications, and power lines were reported by different sectors disrupting the delivery of goods and services and threatening the safety of the residents; The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) reported more than 12 million in damages to facilities, and restoration of electricity in the different barangays is still ongoing; the National Irrigation Administration (Nia) reported P35 million worth of damaged irrigation facilities in Benguet; the Provincial Engineering office reported that 24 of the 57 provincial roads suffered from significant damages due to landslides and provincialwide damage to crops, livestock, and agricultural facilities were reported in all the 13 towns.
Vice governor Ericson ‘Tagel’ Felipe admitted that Benguet is among the communities severely affected by the weather disturbance where the supertyphoon caused widespread devastation and severe adverse impact on the community, infrastructure and economy of the province.
The board claimed that battering winds and torrential rains brought about by the weather disturbance have caused severe landslides, floodings, and destruction of public and private properties.
According to the board, the typhoon’s aftermath have resulted to loss of lives, displacement of families, damage to agricultural lands, and damage to critical public and private facilities, including power outages, communication disruptions and disruption to the province’s transportation system.
The approved resolution will be transited to gov. Melchor Diclas for his information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action.
Moreover, copies of the said resolution will also be transmitted to the Office of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG) through the DILG Provincial Director Regina Elixabeth L. Mammag, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the different municipalities of the province, all concerned departments and the Provincial Auditor, for their information and appropriate action.
Felipe pointed out that the enormous damage inflicted by the typhoon to the province’s agriculture sector will have a significant effect in the steady supply of highland vegetables being sold in the different markets around the country as there might be artificial shortage that could lead to the increase in prices, thus, the need for monitoring by the concerned agencies to avoid such scenario that may transpire in the coming days.