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'Zero casualty' in Batanes despite super typhoon Ferdie's onslaught

More aid delivered to Batanes; relief reaches Itbayat

'Zero casualty' in Batanes despite super typhoon Ferdie's onslaught
‘Zero casualty’ in Batanes despite super typhoon Ferdie’s onslaught

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – On Monday morning, September 19, the DSWD National Resource Operations Office (NROO) was able to airlift additional 200 boxes of corned beef and generator sets to Batanes as requested by the provincial government and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Response Cluster during the first relief mission to the island on September 17.
Also on Sunday, another batch of response team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other member agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) provided aid in isolated areas in Batanes, specifically in the municipality of Itbayat.
The team, headed by NDRRMC Executive Director Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad with DSWD Assistant Secretary Hope V. Hervilla and DSWD-Assistant Bureau Director Carlos Padolina, arrived in Batanes around 8:30am Sunday, September 18, via C295 plane to assess the condition of Typhoon ‘Ferdie’ victims and extended additional assistance. Accompanied by Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco and Representative Henedina Abad, the team brought 20 sacks of rice, four boxes of distilled water, 20 assorted boxes containing canned goods and family food packs (FFPs), medical supplies, medicines, and generator sets to Itbayat.
Based on the update from Asst. Dir. Padolina, the team was able to conduct initial assessment on the damage brought by the typhoon in Itbayat. He said, “Damaged were houses, electric posts, school buildings, crops and livestock and agricultural products such as bananas and coconut trees. The Itbayat municipal assessment initially cost the damages amounting to P64.7M.”
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo commends the response team for delivering the immediate needs of the typhoon survivors despite the inclement weather in Northern Luzon.
“The DSWD and NDRRMC team is doing their best to provide immediate assistance to typhoon victims. We assure the public that we are doing all the necessary actions to assist those who are severely affected. In addition, the Department is already assessing them for programs that will help them for their recovery and rehabilitation,” said Sec. Taguiwalo. To date, there are 2,710 families or 10,344 persons who have been displaced in Regions I and II, of which, 20 families or 151 persons are still in three evacuation centers, while 2,651 families or 10,063 persons temporarily took shelter with their relatives and friends. The response team maintains its coordination with the provincial government of Batanes and will continue their relief mission in the municipality of Mahatao and other hard to reach areas in the following days.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.