FIFTEEN individuals, including eight senior citizens, died after their vehicle plunged into an 80-meter-deep ravine in Balabalan, Kalinga at 2:30 p.m. on September 11.
Based on police reports, the senior citizens were on their way back to Barangay Dao-angan from the town proper after collecting their pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) when their vehicle’s engine stopped, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle which fell down a ravine.
The fatalities were identified as Victorino Banglagan, Soledad Dammay, Eliza Amoga, Rosario Badong, Isabel Bagni, Agida Palangdao, Lolita Latawan, William Gamongan, Leota Maday, Angelina Benito, Benjamin Badong, Terresa Dulansi and Annie Baluga. Two others have yet to be identified.
Injured were Arnel Banglagan, Laika Barbosa, Manuel Banguingan, Jennifer Esteban, Pedro Maday, Lolita Gullitis, Anna Bagwingan, Imelda Cuzon, Caridad Palicas, Irene Dammay, Agida Palangdao, Mercedez Kingbao, Joselyn Gannisi, Soccoro Naganag, Necita Daggay, Bartolome Balcanao, Patricio Maday, Mariano Palicas, Leonarda Dumaguing, Conchita Canao, Sonia Barbosa, Condordia Manadao, Francisco Gumaad Jr, Edmund Duguit, Nanette Gamongan and Martin Canao.
Mary Anne Buclao, disaster management chief of DSWD-CAR assured the distribution of financial assistance to the senior citizens who died including those who were injured in the accident during the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting at the Office of the Civil Defense conducting its coordination meeting in preparation for Typhoon Ompong.
“At present, an ongoing assessment of the situation is being done by our social welfare officers to ensure the appropriate financial assistance will be given to our senior citizens and to the injured passengers of the ill-fated vehicle. A minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P15,000 financial assistance based on the assessment of our responding social workers will be given to the families of the dead and injured aside from burial assistance, hospitalization expenses, and the caskets to used,“ Buclao explained.