PGMA orders immediate rehabilitation and relocation of typhoon victims in CAR
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (17 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered immediate and stepped-up government relief and assistance operations in the region in the aftermath of typhoon Pepeng that badly hit the Cordillera and the rest of Northern Luzon last week.
In the Cordillera Regional Disaster Coordinating Council(CRDCC) meeting at the Mansion House on October 11 presided by the President, she directed the relocation of families in areas at risk particularly in Little Kibungan in Puguis and Buyagan, La Trinidad, Ambabag, Guinaoang, Mankayan, Catlubong, Buguias and Kayan East, Tadian, Mt. Province. These areas are the sites of landslides that killed a number of people and damaging houses and properties.
The President also ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to immediately work on the re-opening of access roads to Baguio and the Halsema Highway to avert a food, vegetable and other supply crisis in the city. Which DPWH did in record time- Kennon was opened to light vehicles late Sunday afternoon while Naguilian Road and Marcos Highway were opened to traffic Tuesday. Baguio City and Benguet were isolated for at least two days.
The President also committed the presidential helicopter and all the available aircraft of the Philippine Air Force to provide assistance to the CRDCC in their search, rescue and retrieval operations and in ferrying relief goods, food supplies and other assistance needed for the critical and isolated areas in the region especially in Benguet and Mt. Province.
On Sunday evening, the President ordered the opening of the Mansion House to accommodate evacuees in the city.
On the report of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) Director Olivia Luces, as of October 13, Typhoon "Pepeng" left 255 dead, 144 injured and 36 missing, in Cordillera, and more than P270 million in damages to infrastructures and the agriculture sector.
Majority of the deaths recorded were due to landslides, with the province of Benguet registering most of the casualties.
Last October 13, the President personally visited Puguis, La Trinidad to personally condole and hand cash assistance to the families of those who died in the landslide in the said municipality. The President also facilitated the distribution of relief supplies to the other affected families. (PIA) [top]