December 2, 2022

THE number of deaths from Tropical Storm “Paeng” has reached 98, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Monday.

The agency said 69 people were injured and 63 were missing.

It said 53 of the deaths were reported in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 19 in Western Visayas, 12 in Calabarzon, six in Eastern Visayas, four in Zamboanga, three in Soccsksargen and one in Bicol.

A total of 1,953,814 individuals or 590,990 families from 5,108 villages in 17 regions were affected by Paeng, which swept across the Philippines during the weekend.

At least 309,000 individuals or 83,243 families are staying in 4,024 evacuation centers.

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Close to 700 houses were destroyed and 4,188 were damaged.

Damage to infrastructure was at P757 million in Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao.

NDRRMC spokesman Raffy Alejandro 4th said 158 cities and towns have declared a state of calamity.

P32 million worth of relief aid has been provided to storm victims, the agency said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said that damage to agriculture has reached P1.33 billion.

The DA said 64,600 hectares of farm land in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen were destroyed by the storm.

Production loss was estimated at 66,963 metric tons, affecting at least 54,000 farmers and fisherfolk.

The bulk of the damage came from rice lands, with at least P1.23 billion worth of palay destroyed, covering 63,930 hectares.

Losses from high-value crops, fisheries, corn, livestock and poultry amounted to P60 million, P16 million, P5.59 million and P1.92 million, respectively.

The DA said it will offer a P25,000 loan to the affected farmers and fishers.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said it reduced the water being released from the Magat Dam in Isabela to prevent it from overflowing.

The NIA said it reduced the flow from 2,511 cubic meters per second (CMS) to 1,862 CMS.

The agency said four of the dam’s gates were still open.

Based on the data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the water level at Magat Dam was 191.70 meters (m), 1.3m lower than its normal high-water level of 193m.

On Monday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. did an aerial inspection in Cavite, one of the provinces that bore the brunt of Paeng’s fury.

During a briefing later in Noveleta town, Marcos ordered the round-the-clock distribution of assistance to the people displaced by the storm.

Those who have returned home will also get government aid to help them rebuild, he said.

The President stressed the importance of preemptive evacuation in high-risk areas even before a typhoon makes landfall.

The Office of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said it has raised almost P49.2 million in cash pledges for the victims of Paeng.

The Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City has been converted into a center for sorting and repacking relief goods on Romualdez’s instructions.

House employees and officials also gave used clothing and other essential supplies that typhoon victims might need.

As of Monday afternoon, Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez have responded to the requests for financial or food assistance from the following House members: Representatives Emmanuel Billones (Capiz, first district), Jane Castro (Capiz, second district), Carlito Marquez (Aklan, first district), Teodorico Haresco Jr. (Aklan, second district), Ferjenel Biron (Iloilo, fourth district), Gerardo Valmayor Jr. (Negros Occidental, first district), Antonio Legarda Jr. (Antique, lone district), Mohamad Paglas (Maguindanao, second district), Bai Dimple Mastura (Maguindanao and Cotabato City, first district), David Suarez (Quezon, second district), former speaker Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque, lone district), House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe (Zamboanga City, second district), Mercedes Alvarez (Negros Occidental, sixth district), Maria Theresa Collantes (Batangas, third district), Sittie Aminah Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, second district), Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla (Cavite, second district), Ramon Jolo Revilla 3rd (Cavite, first district), Marlyn Alonte (Biñan City, lone district), Raul Tupas (Iloilo, fifth district), Rene Ann Lourdes Matibag (Laguna, first district), Bryan Revilla (Agimat party-list), James Ang (Uswag Ilonggo party-list), Antonio Ferrer (Cavite, sixth district), Adrian Jay Advincula (Cavite, third district), Roy Loyola (Cavite, fifth district), Elpidio Barzaga Jr. (Cavite, fourth district), Aniela Bianca Tolentino (Cavite, eighth district), Joseph Lara (Cagayan, third district) and Dan Fernandez (Santa Rosa City, lone district).