P549M in infra lost to quake-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
CLARIN, Bohol — The last time Apolinario Polinar saw his daughter Mary Grace and son Joseph, they were heading to the river in Barangay Villaflor last Tuesday morning for a dip.
He never saw them alive again.
After a five-hour operation in the mountain barangay in Bohol Province on Friday, search teams from the military and police retrieved the bodies of Mary Grace, 21, and Joseph, 24. Their cousin Roger Tagsip, 17, remained missing.
“Mas mahimotang ko kung makita ilang lawas (I will feel better once I see them again),” said Apolinario.
Three days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Visayas, the death toll has reached 162 to 173. (Various government organizations have yet to reconcile their figures in the wake of the calamity.)
The quake damaged P549.8 million worth of public infrastructure projects, nearly 95 percent of it in Bohol, reported the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NRDDMC).
About 353,000 persons or 75,000 families were displaced. Eyewitnesses said many Bohol residents continue to sleep in public plazas, piers and other open spaces, too afraid to spend the night at home as the aftershocks kept coming.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, 1,694 aftershocks were recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Sixteen to 19 persons remain missing.
A joint team from the 6th Special Forces Company of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police plan to return to the river in Barangay Villaflor, Clarin where they found the Polinar sibilings.
Land and rocks, however, have covered part of the river. Aftershocks delayed the retrieval work.
Capt. Lolito Destajo, commanding officer of the 6th Special Forces, said they decided to postpone the search for the Polinars’ cousin because it was getting dark.
In Barangay Katipunan, Sagbayan, the search will continue for five persons who had gone swimming in the Kawasan Falls before the quake struck at 8:12 a.m.
The Office of the Civil Defense reported the second highest death toll (172). In its 2:30 p.m. Friday report, the agency said 159 of those who died were in Bohol and 12 were from Cebu.
The Central Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO) declared a full alert status starting last Wednesday.
Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, director of PRO, said no police personnel is allowed to take a leave of absence and those on leave are called to active duty.
Senior Supt. Edward Carranza of PRO said they will send additional troops, apart from the police operatives who were earlier mobilized, to help in the distribution of relief goods.
He said they will also ask Camp Crame to pull out 130 policemen deployed in Zamboanga last month to assist in the crisis.
“Their presence in Bohol is badly needed because of the quake,” said Carranza, who is the chief of PRO’s directorial staff.
A donation campaign is also underway for policemen in Bohol who were affected by the quake.
“Despite of the misery of their families, they will continue working and render public service,” Carranza said.
The tremor didn’t spare some police offices of PRO as well. The Police Station 2 and Pardo Police Station in Cebu City and Police Station 3 in Mandaue City observed new cracks in their buildings.
In Bohol Province, the police stations in Danao, Looc and Trinidad were also damaged.
Inside the Camp Sergio Osmeña, the conference room where police officials hold their meetings also lost part of its ceiling. Work, however, continued as usual.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas region has delivered 8,000 food packs and 10,000 bottles of water to the affected families in Bohol.
However, only about 70 percent of the affected towns have been reached by DSWD as some areas can’t be reached, said DSWD regional spokesperson Jaybee Binghay.
As of yesterday, the DSWD listed 37,622 families or 165,132 individuals affected by the quake. (The NDRMMC’s figure is larger because it gathers information from all the affected areas.)
Binghay, in a separate interview, said the DSWD put up some 77 evacuation centers in Bohol, where 20,000 families temporarily live.
She said they are packing relief goods around the clock and aim to make 10,000 a day.
The DSWD has recalled employees who went on leave to help pack the goods, aside from getting help from other sectors.
(It is also accepting donations and volunteers in the lobby of its regional office at the corner of M.J. Cuenco and Gen. Maxilom Ext. in Cebu City.)
Binghay assured the public they will continue sending help after their central office gave them P10 million as assistance.
The DSWD aims to build an operation center in Tagbilaran and Tubigon in Bohol on Saturday.
They have also deployed six personnel who will conduct stress debriefing for the affected families.
In Cebu, SM Prime Holdings President Inc. Hans Sy gave a P5-million check each to the Cebu City and Provincial Governments, to assist in its relief efforts.
Sy gave the checks personally to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.
“We at SM Prime Holdings Inc. are deeply saddened by the devastation caused to parts of the city by the earthquake,” said Sy in a letter he gave to Rama.
“As a sign of solidarity with the people of the city, we wish to provide financial assistance. Please accept our donation of P5 million which we trust will help in the City’s relief efforts for evacuees, clearing operations as well as the rebuilding and or rehabilitation of affected areas,” he added.
Based on the estimates by the City’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the damage caused by the earthquake to infrastructure alone has already reached P300 million.
Rama said he plans to use the money for the building of a new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
“This is the beginning (of raising funds for CCMC). I hope others will also follow SM,” he said.
The mayor has ordered the 300-bed CCMC demolished, after it was declared unfit for occupancy by the Department of Engineering and Public Works.
Rama said the City needs more than P1 billion to build a new, modern and bigger facility.
As of yesterday, the Provincial Government asked Provincial Social Welfare and Development office (PSWD) chief Evelyn Senajon to check on the reported death of two barangay tanods in Alcantara town.
Governor Davide thanked Sy for the donation from SM Prime Holdings.
“We have faith in the people of Cebu and are one with the Province in its efforts to rise above the calamity,” Sy said in his letter to the governor. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.