BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson declared a state of calamity in the province on Monday, December 20, due to the destruction left by Typhoon Odette.
The governor said that the typhoon caused 38 deaths, the destruction of 3,764 houses, damage to 16,477 other houses, and still unquantified devastation of agricultural crops and livestock in the province.
These are initial figures and Lacson said he expects the numbers to rise as more reports come in with repairs on communication lines.
“Due to the severity of Typhoon Odette’s destruction, there is an immediate need to declare a state of calamity across the province,” Lacson said.
Lacson was scheduled to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte in Kabankalan City late Monday afternoon, December 20. He conducted an aerial ocular inspection of southern Negros with 303rd Brigade Commander General Inocencio Pasaporte and Major General Benedict Arevalo of the 3rd Infantry Division before his meeting with Duterte.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the body will convene Tuesday, December 21, to pass a resolution adopting Lacson’s executive order (EO) to put the province under a state of calamity.
The governor, in his EO, implored the provincial board to include the release of the calamity fund in its resolution. He said immediate assistance to those affected by the typhoon will “greatly aid the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts” of the provincial government.
He also asked the provincial board to include in its resolution a price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities to “curb predatory pricing” by businesses and hoarding of goods.
Lacson said the EO shall take effect immediately and will be lifted upon the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
As of December 20, Typhoon Odette left P5,982,947,301 worth of damage to property, agriculture, and livelihood in the province.
The bulk of the figure came from agriculture accounting for P4,445,050,801 worth of losses, followed by animal and livestock with P488,780,000, food and nutrition with P327,768,300, and infrastructure with P201 million.
Losses of schools were pegged at P268,331,200, damaged houses at P212,780,000, and destroyed homes at P13,635,000. Damage to seaports were estimated at P12 million while costs to health were placed at P13,602,000.
Meanwhile, presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte visited Bacolod City on December 20 to turn over P2 million in financial assistance and P1.8 million for food packs. – Rappler.com