NINE towns and one city in northern Cebu were declared under a state of calamity after they were heavily hit by tropical storm Urduja during the weekend.
During their regular session yesterday, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution declaring a state of calamity in the municipalities of Daanbantayan, Bantayan, San Remigio, Medellin, Tabogon, Sogod, Borbon, Santa Fe, Madridejos and the city of Bogo.
The resolution, proposed by PB Member Celestino “Tining” Martinez III, was approved in mass motion.
Martinez said they approved the motion because of the massive infrastructure and agricultural damage suffered by those LGUs.
Now under a state of calamity, the 10 LGUs can release their calamity funds for immediate deployment of relief aid to affected barangays.
Baltazar Tribunalo Jr, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said they recommended the declaration of a state of calamity after assessing the damage in the affected LGUs.
Tribunalo cited the lack of basic services, and damage to agricultural lands and infrastructure as basis for the declaration.
Tribunalo said they also considered the situation of the island barangays in northern Cebu, whose food supplies are often delivered by boat.
“Gahapon lang sa hapon na-declare nga pwede na mosulod ang mga barko or pump boat didto. Ang nahitabo, deprivation of services sa pagkaon (The boats were allowed to go to the island barangays yesterday),” Tribunalo added.
In Daanbantayan, Mayor Vicente Loot reported that the two island barangays, Carnasa and Logon, are in dire need of food aid.
Loot said the two barangays failed to secure provisions after inter-island travel was not allowed for four days due to Urduja.
With the declaration of the state of calamity yesterday, the town can now acquire relief goods for those living in the two island barangays.
In Bantayan, residents of five islet barangays, namely Doong, Luyongbaybay, Botigues, Lipayran and Hilotongan, were also affected by Urduja.
Mayor Christopher Ian Escario said that with the storm preventing fishermen from going out to sea, some of their fisherfolk in the five islet barangays didn’t have income for four days. (JKV, USJR Intern Rolyn May Jumao-as