Negros Occidental declares state of calamity as Odette leaves more than P5-B losses


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Negros Occidental estimates damage to property and industries will exceed initial estimate of 5 billion pesos as assessment teams have yet to hear from isolated municipalities

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson declared a state of calamity in the province on Monday, December 20, due to destruction caused by Typhoon Odette.

The governor said the typhoon left 38 people dead, the destruction of 3,764 homes, damage to 16,477 other homes and as yet unquantified devastation to crops and livestock in the province.

These are initial numbers and Lacson said he expects the numbers to increase as more reports point to repairs on communication lines.

“Due to the severity of the destruction caused by Typhoon Odette, there is an urgent need to declare a state of calamity throughout the province,” Lacson said.

Lacson was due to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte in the town of Kabankalan late in the afternoon of Monday, December 20. He carried out an aerial eye inspection of southern Negros with the commander of the 303rd Brigade, General Inocencio Pasaporte and Major General Benedict Arevalo of the 3rd Infantry Division before his meeting with Duterte. .

Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the body would meet on Tuesday, December 21 to pass a resolution passing Lacson’s Executive Order (EO) aimed at putting the province into a state of calamity.

FIND FOOD. A resident of Sipalay town brings home food from Kawa Kusina’s mobile kitchen. Photo courtesy of Krishna Ariola

The governor, in his EO, implored the provincial council to include the release of the disaster fund in its resolution. He said immediate assistance to those affected by the typhoon “will greatly assist the provincial government’s rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts”.

He also asked the provincial council to include in its resolution a price freeze for basic necessities and basic necessities in order to “curb predatory prices” by businesses and the hoarding of goods.

Lacson said the OE will go into effect immediately and will be lifted on the recommendation of the provincial office for disaster risk reduction and management.

Destruction
(Courtesy of the provincial government of Negros Occidental)

As of December 20, Typhoon Odette caused damage to property, agriculture and livelihoods worth P5,982,947,301 in the province.

Most of the figure came from agriculture accounting for 4,445,050,801 pesos in losses, followed by animals and livestock with 488,780,000 pesos, food and nutrition with 327,768,300 pesos, and infrastructure with 201 million pesos.

School losses were estimated at P268,331,200, damaged houses at P212,780,000 and houses destroyed at P13,635,000. Damage to seaports was estimated at P12million while health costs were evaluated at P13,602,000.

Meanwhile, presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, traveled to Bacolod City on December 20 to deliver financial aid of 2 million pesos and 1.8 million pesos for food parcels. – Rappler.com

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