THE Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) was placed under a state of calamity following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Paeng (international Name: Nalgae).
Barmm chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said in a Facebook post that the declaration of a state calamity was agreed upon following a meeting between his cabinet and the Barmm Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC).
He noted the massive flooding and landslides in some parts of the region brought about by rains, particularly in Cotabato City, Maguindanao del Norte, and Maguindanao del Sur, which displaced thousands of families and caused widespread damage to properties, infrastructure, power and telecommunications services, and casualties.
“Pinaghandaan ng Bangsamoro Government ang Bagyong Paeng bago pa man ito tumama sa ating rehiyon; Ganyunpaman, ang walang tigil na pagbuhos ng ulan ang nagdulot ng pag-apaw ng mga ilog at dagat na siya namang nagdulot ng landslide at pagbaha,” Ebrahim said.
(The Bangsamoro Government was already prepared for the effects of Typhoon Paeng even before it hit our region; However, the incessant downpour caused rivers and seas to overflow, which in turn caused landslides and floods.)
“Pinapahalagahan ng Bangsamoro Government ang buhay ng bawat mamamayan nito kaya’t patuloy po ang ating panawagan sa mga komunidad na malapit sa mga ilog at dagat na lumikas nang mas maaga sa tulong ng ating mga rescuers patungo sa mga evacuation centers,” he added.
(The Bangsamoro Government values the lives of each of its citizens, so we continue to call on communities near rivers and seas to evacuate earlier with the help of our rescuers to the evacuation centers.)
According to the Maguindanao Provincial Disaster Management Office, the death toll in Maguindanao due to Paeng increased to 53. It said 22 more were still missing.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said they are ready to provide assistance to help Barmm in accessing calamity funds to help their affected residents.
“Bagamat ang Barmm ay autonomous at may sariling sistema ng pamamahala, handa po ang DILG na alalayan ang Rehiyon sa panahon ng kanilang pangangailangan. Tayong lahat ay mga Pilipino na nakatira sa iisang bansa kaya may pananagutan tayo sa isa’t isa at tungkulin natin na magtulungan,” he said.
(Although the Barmm is autonomous and has its own management system, the DILG is ready to support the region in times of need. We are all Filipinos living in the same country so we have a responsibility to each other and it is our duty to work together.)
“Napakasaklap na may mga nasawi sa gitna ng bagyong ito at lubos kaming nakikiramay sa mga namatayan sa BARMM. Patuloy ang aming pakikipag-ugnayan upang maalalayan sila sa panahong ito,” he added.
(It is very sad that there were casualties in the midst of this storm and we deeply sympathize with those who lost their lives in Barmm. We are in constant contact to support them during this time.)
Zamboanga City has also been placed under a state of calamity due to Paeng.
The City Government said the declaration will enable them and the affected villages to utilize resources and address the damage caused by the tropical storm. (SunStar Philippines)