Double-whammy of typhoon and COVID in Samar, Bicol, southern Luzon regions

Overlapping disasters will bear down on the poorest

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the damaging effects of severe tropical storm AmboPH (international name Vongfong) will further wear out the already depleted economic resources of farmers, fishers and the poor population in typhoon-affected provinces across Luzon, which most areas will be downgraded to a general community quarantine status (GCQ) starting tomorrow, May 16.

Effects of the typhoon could also delay the resumption of work and offices in areas categorized under GCQ.

“Aid from the government and the private sector must continue. Our farmers and fishers need all the help they can get. These overlapping disasters will further bear down on them and our poorest kababayans,” says Donna Miranda, coordinator of Tulong Anakpawis and Sagip Kanayunan relief operation drive.  

According to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bicol, peasant and fisher communities in the provinces of Masbate and Sorsogon are among the hardest-hit by AmboPH. Coastal towns along Ragay Gulf in Albay and Camarines Sur provinces were also devastated. Portions of Northern and Eastern Samar provinces in Region 8, and Quezon province in CALABARZON are also reeling from the effects of the storm.

More than 141,000 families along the path of AmboPH were already evacuated but heavy rains, as well as quarantine restrictions and protocols due to COVID-19 are delaying further evacuation operations. It will be more difficult to rescue and evacuate residents in most disaster-vulnerable communities because of the already depleting resources of local government units and health protocols that must be observed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most evacuation centers were also transformed into quarantine centers by LGUs. “Mas mahirap na kalagayan ang kinakaharap ng ating mga mahihirap na kababayan — COVID, bagyo, at kawalan o kakulangan ng ayuda,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

Sagip Kanayunan and Tulong Anakpawis joint relief drive are accepting donations for farmers and fisherfolk affected by AmboPH in Bicol and Northern Samar provinces. For donations, message or contact https://www.facebook.com/sagipkanayunan.###

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