Aklan final tally from typhoon Seniang: P479-M in damages
by VG Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (20 December) -- More than a week after "Seniang" hit Aklan, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council here finally released its consolidated report on the damages wrought by the typhoon in the province minus one municipality which failed to submit.
The PDCC here, chaired by Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez and manned by Provincial Civil Defense Executive Officer Ret. P/Maj. Paquito S. Saratiosa, revealed that the typhoon damage reached P478,742,365.50 brought about by destructions of lifelines (roads, bridges, telephone and electricity); structures (schools, hospitals, government offices); agriculture crops, fisheries and poultry/livestock.
Hardest hit were the towns of Malay (where Boracay Island belongs) with P118,504,780 total damage; Ibajay, P100,805,000; Nabas, P87,195,000; and Buruanga, P66,930,000. These municipalities are all located in the western side of Aklan.
There are still areas in these municipalities without electricity.
Towns in the eastern side of Aklan also incurred damages and experienced deep and strong floods, however, those which are landlocked had minimal damage because these had no fishponds and reported no damage in agriculture crops and structures.
Houses totally destroyed numbered 2,621 mostly in the western part of Aklan; homeless persons numbered 11,512; 10 persons including a one-year old girl were reported dead, 82 were injured and 1 remain missing.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan here has declared a State of Calamity in the province of Aklan, enabling Governor Carlito S. Marquez to authorize the release of calamity fund to address the financial requirements of rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the provincial government.
The resolution will also enable government workers here to avail of calamity loans. The Pag-IBIG fund here has already started receiving applications for Calamity Loans of members. This is the first time for Pag-IBIG to offer this kind of loan here. According to Pag-IBIG-Aklan, a member who is a Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) ATM card holder can get his/her loan in three days, while those who prefer checks can get theirs in a week.
On the other hand, government employees here are also waiting for the official announcement/directive of GSIS executives as to availment of Moratorium on Loan Repayments of GSIS members in typhoon-affected areas for five months starting December 2006 until April 2007 as published in major newspapers in the country; as well as Calamity Loans of P10,000 up to P15,000 depending on their record of creditable services; longer repayment period; lower amortization; and waiver of penalties and surcharges.
Meanwhile, the Government enjoins the public to take extra precautionary measures as the PAGASA has sighted a typhoon which may enter the Philippine area of responsibility within 24 hours.
According to PAGASA, the typhoon is presently 1,690 kilometers east of Luzon and if it succeeds in entering the country, it will be named "Tomas".
The impending typhoon has a strength of 60 kph but would not be as strong as the previous typhoons that ravaged the country.
PAGASA Senior Forecaster Noel Pregunuro said that the typhoon would last for five days if it succeeds in entering the Philippines. (PIA) [top]