ILOILO CITY, Nov. 9 (RDRRMC/PIA6) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) said more relief goods in the form of family food packs were dispatched Saturday, Nov. 9 to areas affected by typhoon “Yolanda” to augment the initial emergency provisions provided by local government units through their respective disaster risk reduction and management offices.
The initial relief assistance was given to affected families who heeded the preemptive or forced evacuation advisories made by government authorities in anticipation of the onslaught of the strongest typhoon to ever hit the country, particularly the Visayas and southern Tagalog regions.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 6 Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre accompanied the Philippine National Police (PNP) truck carrying relief goods for affected areas in Iloilo province while Assistant Regional Director Joel Galicia went with the team that brought the assistance to Antique.
DSWD representative at the RDRRMC Operations Center Assistant Regional Director for Admin-Designate Evangeline B. Felecio said they sent out additional relief goods to Capiz, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Guimaras and other areas in Iloilo City to heed the calls for help from their local government units.
RDRRMC-6 chair and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera said they have reactivated the operations center to coordinate with various local DRRMOs as well as facilitate help to affected areas.
Based on reports they have received from the field so far, some 10,700 families composed of more than 50,000 individuals were affected or evacuated to preempt any adverse effects of the typhoon. Negros Occidental and Bacolod City added 18,000 families affected.
One casualty was reported to the RDRRMC from the municipality of Calinog, Iloilo. The victim, Randy Cejar, 56, died after he accidentally touched an open wire while fixing his house in preparation for the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda.
As of this date, the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Dumangas, Iloilo has passed a resolution declaring the town under a state of calamity.
Coordination with provinces and cities and even down to the level of municipalities was hampered by the breakdown of communications facilities at the height of the typhoon on Friday, Nov. 8. Some areas with available communication lines were able to make reports with their respective provincial disaster management councils or directly with the RDRRMC operations center.
The communications breakdown was compounded by the disruption of power supply which as of this report is not yet available in provinces in the island of Panay. In Iloilo City, power was restored starting Friday night due to available supply from a local power producer Panay Power Corporation through Panay Electric Co. (PECO).
The council has coordinated with its air assets from the 301st Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force to conduct an aerial inspection of the affected areas and the extent of damage.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas is expected to join the aerial inspection as soon as he arrives in the region.
Cabrera acknowledged the efforts of local government units through their DRRM councils to keep their constituents safe through preemptive or forced evacuation especially in areas that are prone to flooding, landslide and storm surge and to attend to their needs as first-line providers of relief assistance.
Also in Iloilo City, the Philippine Red Cross has also come in to help by providing food to hundreds of families in evacuation centers.
She said they are continuing to assess the situation and coordinate the provision of relief assistance with concerned council member-agencies especially to affected areas that were initially difficult to access. (RDRRMC/JCM/JSC-PIA6)