NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. has bared plans to build typhoon-proof evacuation centers in the province that would also be used as classrooms or health centers on normal days.
The governor said he has already discussed such plan with the Provincial Engineering Office. The plan is the result of the meeting of the Visayan governors where climate change and typhoons were also discussed.
Marañon noted that based on scientific studies, strong typhoons as strong as or even stronger than Yolanda is imminent in the country because the hottest part of all bodies of water in the world is found near the Philippines.
“We all agreed that we were right with what we have been advocating before which is to protect the environment. We point it out that it is not only the work of the government, or the local government units. It is everybody's business to protect Mother Earth,” the governor said.
Maranon said it’s about time that Negrenses redesign their buildings.
“We should help the poorest of the poor because their houses made of light materials are vulnerable to typhoons and other calamities,” he added.
The governor said the Visayan governors agreed that it would take about five years to rehabilitate and to reconstruct the damage to infrastructure caused by super typhoon Yolanda.
In Negros Occidental, the worst-hit areas are in northern Negros, particularly the cities of Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante and San Carlos and the towns of Manapla, Toboso and Calatrava, where thousands of houses and other structures were damaged and destroyed.
Damage to agriculture
Meanwhile, Yolanda's damage to agriculture and fisheries in Negros Occidental has already reached P274.529 million.
In its final report, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist said that strong winds and heavy rains in 25 local government units in the province caused damage to palay, corn and high value crops worth P214.953 million and to fisheries, P59.575 million.
The second district in northern Negros suffered the worst damage, totaling P99.071 million; followed by the first district, P56.62 million; fourth district, P33.921 million; fifth district, P12. 956 million; third district, P9.057 million; and sixth district, P3.325 million.
Among LGUs, Cadiz City topped the list of areas with damage to crops, amounting to P65.025 million, followed by Escalante City, P22.444 million; Bago City, P17.679 million; Calatrava, P15.36 million; and San Enrique, P10.233 million.
For fisheries, 463 motorized bancas were damaged or destroyed, 281 of which are in Cadiz City with total losses of P22.425 million.
The report also showed that 318 non-motorized bancas amounting to P4.77 were damaged, 155 of which are in Sagay City while 344 fish corrals, 73 of which are in Silay City were lost amounting to P12.551 million.
A total of 137 hectares of fish pond for milkfish and large shrimps were also damaged, of which 60 hectares are in Sagay City amounting to P4.234 million. Also, 302.655 hectares of mangroves were destroyed amounting to P11.22 million.