Cagayan de Oro under state of calamity

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


CAGAYAN de Oro City was placed under state of calamity Monday afternoon after Tropical Storm Sendong (international codename: Washi) battered the city Friday, killing 500 people while leaving over 300 missing.

In a special session Monday, the City Council passed and approved a resolution declaring Cagayan de Oro under state of calamity through the request of Mayor Vicente Emano.

In another resolution, the City Council allocated an undisclosed amount from the city’s coffer to mitigate the severe effects of the storm.

The City Council also passed and approved an ordinance asking recommendation report from the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) on the families hit by “Sendong”.

Another resolution has been passed by the City Council inviting officials of the Cagayan de Oro Water District, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other concerned entities to give update of the status of water supply, prices of commodities, among other issues.

The flag at the City Hall has been put in half-mast in sympathy to those who died in the incident.

Emano said as of Monday morning, at least 475 dead have been accounted for, while another 45 dead bodies have been reported floating at the sea in Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental, while more than 300 people remain missing.

He said damages in properties are yet to be determined.

“So far, there’s not much damage in our infrastructures or if there is, it’s not that big. The big damage is on the loss of lives of our people and properties,” Emano told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Based on the record of the DSWD, there are 6,737 families with 38,767 persons from the city’s 29 barangays staying in 19 evacuation centers in the city.

Related to this, Emano issued a directive for City Hall employees not to hold Christmas parties, while the lights at the Gaston Park should also be turned off.

“We can’t be happy at this time of sorrow and tragedy,” he said.

Emano said he already received at least P14 million in financial support to be given to the victims to help them rebuild their houses.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental approved on Monday an allocation of P1 million as monetary assistance for the victims in Cagayan de Oro.

Vice Governor Norris Babiera said they will deliver the financial assistance to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Babiera said once Governor Oscar Moreno signed the paper, they will immediately deliver it to help the disaster victims.

Babiera said the effect of “Sendong” is not that “heavy” in Misamis Oriental.

He said among the municipalities in the province that were affected include Manticao, Naawan and Opol, while some infrastructures like bridges were destroyed particularly in Balintad, Argayoso, Cabalantian.

“We are still assessing the extent of the damage,” Babiera said.

Former Senator Richard Gordon, chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), led the relief operations for the affected residents in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City on Monday. The PRC distributed rice, canned goods, water including containers, blankets, towels, laundry soaps, medicines and sanitary kits, and kitchen utensils.

Gordon said the things they distributed are not handouts but the way to increase the flood victims’ personal dignity.

At least 185 body bags were also given to the City Government.

Gordon urged the affected residents to stand up despite what they have gone through.

Krizza Neri, a resident of Tablon who was declared grand champion in GMA’s reality talent search Protégé during the finals on Sunday evening in Manila, said she will visit Cagayan de Oro this week to help those who were affected by the flood.

As of December 18, the DSWD has served a total of P992,530.16 worth of family food packs, used clothing, kitchen wares, sardines, noodles and bags of rice for 31,380 families with 188,280 persons victimized by “Sendong.” (With Terry Bentonio)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 20, 2011.

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