Entire Laguna under state of calamity
MANILA, Philippines – Laguna Governor ER Ejercito, on Tuesday, August 20, declared the whole province of Laguna under a state of calamity due to torrential rains brought about by the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Maring (Trami).
On Monday, August 19, only five areas were under state of calamity: San Pedro, Biñan City, Sta Rosa City, Calamba, and Cabuyao.
This means calamity funds can easily be accessed and released to aid those in need and prices of basic goods can be controlled to prevent increase.
As of 1:50 pm, the local government has recorded 69 barangays, 16,450 families, and 80,405 persons affected by the tropical storm.
They also identified 4 injured persons in the municipality of Bay, but so far no fatalities have been reported.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Ejercito said the hardest hit was the first district of Laguna – composed of San Pedro, Biñan City, and Sta Rosa City – which is the catch basin of the mountainous, neighboring areas of Tagaytay and Cavite.
Flooding in most of these areas have subsided, he said, except in San Pedro where some subdivisions are still submerged in water.
The local government had set up 47 evacuation centers in the province. Ejercito said while relief operations are still ongoing, it may take them one to two weeks to reach all these centers, provide help, and start rehabilitation.
But they already distributed basic necessities like food, water, slippers, blankets, and beddings.
While barangay health workers and nutrition scholars will help out in the centers, he urged the evacuees to help maintain the sanitation in their areas to avoid the spread of sicknesses.
"We're trying to perfect [things], please everybody, [and] we're working overtime," Ejercito said.
With rains on and off in the province, Ejercito admitted flooding is far from over, especially with the damaged Tres Cruses dam in Cavite and a possible releasing of water from the Angat Dam.
"Sanay na tayo sa ganitong sitwasyon. Ang problema, habang buhay ganun?...Ang problema ngayon, paano mo ititigil ang flooding sa Laguna?" Ejercito asked. (We're already used to this situation. But will it be forever like this? The problem now is, how will you stop flooding in Laguna?)
He said the final option to solve the perennial problem of flooding in Laguna and its neighboring areas is to create a mega dike and a Pacific spillway.
He plans to discuss this with President Benigno Aquino III, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, and Laguna Lake Development Authority chair Neric Acosta.
A total of 125,024 families (601,104 people) have been affected in regions I, III, IV-A, the National Capital Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The bulk of the affected citizens reside in Regions III and IV-A, the NDRRMC said.
Sixty-four roads are affected by the monsoon rains, in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Metro Manila, and the Cordilleras. - Rappler.com