Duterte TaskForce belated in disaster response — farmers


The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said President Rodrigo Duterte’s brief public address in the wake of the severe flooding in Cagayan Valley region smacks of insincerity and irresponsibility to the point of criminal negligence.

Duterte said he will create a task force to streamline rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by recent typhoons. He said he will direct the coastguard, navy, and army forces to work round-the-clock for relief efforts. He also ordered the AFP’s Northern Luzon Command to rescue residents trapped on their roofs. “Duterte’s belated reaction is actually more infuriating than helpful.”

“Duterte and the NDRRMC headed by disaster czar Delfin Lorenzana are NOT on top of the disaster situation. They have practically left the Cagayan and Isabela population on their own. The government did not plan before the Magat Dam opened its seven spillways that caused massive flooding in region 2,” according to KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos. “Thousands of families in Isabela and Cagayan towns are now on their roofs and still pleading for rescue, food, and water.”

According to Danggayan, KMP’s chapter in Cagayan Valley, on November 12, Magat water level reached 192.88 meters and nearing its critical spilling level of 193 meters. All seven spillway gates of Magat Dam were opened, releasing 6244 cubic meters per second which triggering widespread flooding in many towns. Already saturated by rainfall from previous typhoons, flooded areas are beside the upper Cagayan River and its tributaries Ganano River, Magat River, lower Cagayan River, and its tributaries including the Siffu-Mallig River and Pinacanauan Rivers of Ilagan City, Tumauini and San Pablo.

A total of 19 towns and three cities in Cagayan province are currently flooded. Floodwaters are at 4-feet high in 35 barrios in Aparri, Pamplona, Sta. Praxedes, Claveria, Sanches Mira, Ballesteros, Lallo, Camalaniugan, Lasam, and Tuuegarao City in Cagayan. Newly-planted corn and rice were deluged in floodwater.

In Isabela, floodwaters have reached the roof level and isolated many barrios. Ten towns in District 1 or northern Isabela were hardest hit, with 50 out of 91 barrios currently flooded including some shelters. All barrios in Sto. Tomas town are flooded. Residents were caught by surprise and not prepared. In Tumauini, Isabela, there are 16 submerged barrios including Lapogan, Liwanag, Balog, Lanna, Minanga, Antagan 2nd, Santa, Malamag West, Malamag East, Ugad, Moldero, Carpintero, Kumpanya, San Pedro, Barangay Dos, and Barangay Kuwatro. In Cauayan City, ten barrios in hinterland barrios remain isolated and submerged in floodwaters.    

Peasants and agricultural workers were hardest hit after successive typhoons have already devastated their crops. Super Typhoon Rolly destroyed P2.9B worth of agricultural crops in Cagayan Valley region. After Ulysses, homes and personal properties were also damaged or swept by rampaging floodwaters. Six successive typhoons Pepito, Quinta, Super Typhoon Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, and Ulysses have wreaked havoc on poor families’ lives.

At least 13,000 families or 47,000 individuals are in urgent need of help. The priority areas for rescue and relief include the following towns and villages:  

Baggao (Carupian, Bunugan, Taguing,  Masical, Taytay)
Alcala (Baybayog, Pared, Calantac, Damurug, Pinucpuc)
Amulung (Gabut, Dafunganay, Lugong, Bacuit, Jurisdiccion, Dugayong, Bauan, Palaco)
Gattaran (Dummon, San Vicente)
Solana (Gusi, Lanna)
Carupian, Bunugan, Taguing,  Masical, Taytay
Alcala (Baybayog, Pared, Calantac, Damurug, Pinucpuc)
Amulung (Gabut, Dafunganay, Lugong, Bacuit, Jurisdiccion, Dugayong, Bauan, Palaco)
Gattaran (Dummon, San Vicente)
Solana (Gusi, Lanna)

Tumauini (Lapogan, Balug, Minanga, Antagan 2nd, Caligayan, Liwanag, Lanna)
Ilagan City (Marana 1rst, Hasyenda Sta. Isabel Norte & Sur, Allangigan 2nd, Bacolod, Cabisera 14-16) Sta. Maria (Lingaling, Mozzozzin, San Antonio, Calamagui, Bangad, Guinagahan, Poblacion 3)  
San Mariano (Cadsalan, Tappa)
Santiago City (Calaocan, Dubinan)

Sagip Kanayunan appeals for help for Cagayan and Isabela residents who need prompt rescue, aid and relief. Immediately needed are food relief (rice, canned goods, bottled water), flashlights, utensils, hygiene kits (laundry soap, toiletries, alcohol, face masks, face shields), sleeping necessities (blankets, sleeping mats), clothes, medicines. For details on how to donate or volunteer, visit https://web.facebook.com/sagipkanayunan. ###

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