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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

'LANDO' EXPOSES PNP's LACK OF FUNDS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS


OCTOBER 20 -LOOK a happy president! President Aquino flies to Nueva Ecija, hands over relief packs, consisting food and non-food item. Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento echoed Marquez’ call. “If the Armed Forces of the Philippines has a human and disaster response (HADR) component, it’s high time we had such a unit so we could fund it separately without eating up the regular (expenses) to maintain peace and order,” Sarmiento told reporters. Sarmiento noted that the police presence proved a big help to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). “There’s a huge improvement in the reporting of the PNP because now they include photos,” Sarmiento said. ‘’Now we see right away if the (weather prediction) is confirmed. We have an idea of what’s happening on the ground.” Marquez agreed. “The data provided by technical people are crossmatched with the reports submitted by our police units. It gives our decision-makers a better picture of what’s happening on the ground,” Marquez said. Commendations “We validate the situation on the ground so the decision-makers at the NDRRMC would have a better handle of the situation (and) suitable intervention could be made.” The PNP’s efforts to help those affected by Lando have not been lost on the Department of the Interior and Local Government. “We are preparing commendations for units that helped and showed heroism, risked their lives to rescue their countrymen. We are also looking at how to improve their equipment and welfare,” Sarmiento said. READ MORE...REKATED, New DILG chief: Who is Mel Senen Sarmiento?

ALSO: PNoy denies reports of slow gov't response to 'Lando'


OCTOBER 20 -President Benigno Aquino III distributes relief goods to displaced families in typhoon-hit Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija on Monday. Twitter/DSWD Central Luzon President Benigno Aquino III disproved reports that government response has been slow in the areas affected by lingering Typhoon Lando. In an interview with reporters after distributing relief goods in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Aquino said the government prepared relief aid and the necessary equipment even before the typhoon hit land. "Slow response time? I think we have pre-positioned not just the relief supplies but also the equipment with DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) in so many different areas," Aquino said on Monday. Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali backed the president's claim, saying 7,000 food packs were delivered earlier by the national government to his province. "Actually, before we asked they already delivered these said packs," he said. RELATED: PNoy says Lando's effects expected for 3 days, flooding still imminent While denying that government response has been slow, Aquino also admitted that the present condition of some typhoon-hit areas have affected the relief operations. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Lando’ damage rises to P9 billion; floodwaters still rising


OCTOBER 24 -
STILL RISING – Six days have passed since Typhoon ‘Lando’ ravaged Northern and Central Luzon, yet floodwaters continue to rise in Pampanga and Bulacan as may be seen in these aerial photos of the inundated National Road in San Luis, Pampanga and the isolated residences in Candaba, Pampanga The estimated cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon “Lando” (international name: “Koppu”) in Central and Northern Luzon climbed to more than P9 billion, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. However, the NDRRMC is expecting that the damage will further increase once it completes its rapid assessment of areas hit by the typhoon in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A and in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). As of Friday, the NDRRMC estimated some P8,242,946,236 worth of agriculture and livestocks have been destroyed or lost while an additional P1,185,859,431 in infrastructure was damaged, including 92 road sections and 11 bridges. The NDRRMC said a total of 741 schools in provinces across Luzon were destroyed or damaged by Lando –240 schools destroyed and 511 partially damaged. But the Department of Education (DepEd) had a higher figure. It said 190 classrooms were totally damaged in eight regions affected by Lando. Likewise, 26,124 houses were destroyed or damaged in Central and Northern Luzon, particularly in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Quezon, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province. Local authorities said floodwaters have incessantly come from Aurora and Nueva Ecija, causing massive inundation in these areas as of yesterday. (Federico Cruz) Local authorities said floodwaters have incessantly come from Aurora and Nueva Ecija, causing massive inundation in these areas as of yesterday. (Federico Cruz) Latest data released by the NDRRMC also showed that a total of 295,835 families or 1,407,805 persons were affected by Lando. Of the total number, 108,688 individuals are still housed in government-run evacuation centers. The NDRRMC recorded 498 incidents, mostly flooding, during the onslaught of the typhoon. Flooding was reported in 479 towns and municipalities in the provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Cagayan and Benguet. POWER RESTORED While power has been restored in most of the areas battered by the typhoon, at least five cities and 52 municipalities were still experiencing power outages. The NDRRMC said its death toll count has also increased to 46, while 82 persons were injured, and five still missing. But data gathered from regional offices of disaster agencies earlier placed the death toll at 58. READ MORE...

ALSO NDRRMC: 100,000 families affected by ‘Lando’; Death rising up to 35


OCTOBER 21 -Commuters ride a farm tractor as it maneuvers through strong floodwaters along a highway in La Paz township, Tarlac province in northern Philippines Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015.
Two days after Typhoon Koppu (local name "Lando") battered northern Philippines residents began cleaning up their muddied homes. AP/Bullit Marquez The number of deaths due to the battering of then Typhoon Lando in the northern part of the country rose to 35 on Wednesday, while 100,000 families were estimated to have been affected, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Council (NDRRMC) said. In a televised press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, NDRRMC Undersecretary Alexander Pama said the 35 fatalities reported included the missing persons in northern and Central Luzon. She noted that 16 of which were from the Cordillera region alone.
The agency also reported 24 injured during the onslaught of “Lando” since the weekend. NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said there are 194,387 families or 907,267 persons affected by the typhoon which has weakened on Wednesday into a tropical depression. There are also 512 evacuations housing 25,293 families or 112, 822 persons while the evacuees from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal at Quezon) region already returned to their respective homes. The weather disturbance also triggered 762 flooding incidents in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Cagayan and Benguet, six drowning incidents, two collapsed walls, two electrocution incidents and five toppled trees. NDRRMC warned the residents of the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga against further flooding as waters from the higher land continue to flow downstream. READ MORE...

ALSO: State of calamity in Isabela, La Union


OCTOBER 24 -Photo provided by Staff Sgt. Roldan Medina of the Philippine Air Force shows inundated houses and rice fields as rescue helicopters flew over Bayambang, Pangasinan the other day. Tropical Storm Lando finally blew away from Luzon earlier this week after forcing thousands of villagers into emergency shelters and destroying rice fields ready for harvest.
TUGUEGARAO, Philippines – The provinces of Isabela and La Union were placed under a state of calamity yesterday in the aftermath of Typhoon Lando that damaged billions of pesos worth of crops and infrastructure. Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III said the destruction to agriculture in the province had soared close to P800 million. Department of Agriculture regional director Lucrecio Alviar said Isabela was the most devastated province in Region 2 with over 120,600 hectares of rice land destroyed, followed by Cagayan with 83,000 hectares. La Union, on the other hand, listed P280 million worth of damage to crops, fisheries and livestock. The Provincial Agricultural Office said 7,760 hectares of farmland were submerged. The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council pegged damage to infrastructure at P71 million. Provincial agricultural officer Imelda Sannadan said Lando destroyed P214 million worth of agriculture in the province. Fishponds and fish cages in the towns of Aringay and Sto. Tomas were destroyed, losing more than P23 million worth of milkfish and tilapia. READ MORE...

ALSO Standard Editorial: Lando’s damage; govt caught flatfooted again


OCTOBER 23 -Super typhoon “Lando” caught the government flatfooted again. The typhoon was not as ferocious as “Yolanda” that ripped Tacloban City and the rest of central Visayas in late 2013, but it was equally destructive after lingering over central and northern Luzon for over a week. The slow-moving typhoon caused floods and swept past several provinces, most of them agricultural producing areas. Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Aurora, Mountain Province, Benguet, Quirino, Kalinga, Nueva Vizcaya and the Ilocos region are among the hardest-hit areas.
Initial government estimates put the crop and livestock damage in Luzon at over P6 billion. The figure is certain to rise dramatically, as rice farmers were about to harvest their produce before the typhoon struck. Lessons should be learned from Lando’s destruction. The typhoon lasted for over a week as predicted by the weather bureau, and any storm hovering for days and with a strength of over 100 kilometers per hour is expected to wreak great havoc along its path. The weather bureau needs more modern equipment to accurately track typhoons, measure the amount of rainfall that will fall over a 24- or 48-hour period and pinpoint the areas to be submerged by floodwaters. Local government units must also be vigilant on the approaching typhoon. Lando has killed 41 people and injured 78 so far. Many, as shown by TV footages, were surprised by rising floodwaters and had to be evacuated by government personnel at the last minute. Lando’s destruction will be felt in the months to come, especially by rice farmers in Central Luzon who had lost their income. The recovery period may not be easy as El Niño has yet to intensify. The government this early must initiate a financing program to help farmers replant their crops and families rebuild their homes. The state, meanwhile, must strictly enforce its disaster risk reduction program. It should permanently ban the construction of houses along identified disaster-prone areas to limit the damage to property and save lives. THE FULL EDITORIAL.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘Lando’ exposes PNP’s lack of funds for first responders


LOOK! MUKHANG TUWANG TUWA... President Aquino flies to Nueva Ecija, hands over relief packs, consisting food and non-food item. Wow!

MANILA
, OCTOBER 26, 2015 (INQUIRER) By: Jaymee T. Gamil @inquirerdotnet - THE PHILIPPINE National Police has learned a lesson from Typhoon “Lando” (international name: Koppu): It needs to have a budget for disaster gear, too.

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez (photo below) plans to ask for such a fund from the Department of Budget Management (DBM) for fiscal year 2017, noting that the police have been on the frontlines of rescue and response operations in typhoon-affected areas the past few days.

“What the DBM funds in the PNP are two major (operations)—crime prevention and crime solution. But (during calamities), the police are the first responders. So we’d like to pitch in for that third (operation),” Marquez told reporters.

“Other units have a humanitarian assistance and disaster response component. There is money to fund those activities. In the case of the PNP, there is none. We use the funds for crime prevention and law enforcement operations,” Marquez said.

All year round

“For 2017, we’d like to request a budget for these operations. In reality, disaster preparedness and response happen the whole year round. I think we’ll be able to convince the DBM to provide us money for these activities.”

Marquez said equipment and gear used by the police for disaster response were usually donated by local government units.


JULY 18, 2015 INQUIRER PHOTO WITH MAR ROXAS - Newly-installed PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez during the donning of rank ceremony at Camp Crame on Thursday. President Benigno Aquino III appointed Marquez seven months after the PNP was led by interim leader, officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. PNP PIO.

Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento echoed Marquez’ call.

“If the Armed Forces of the Philippines has a human and disaster response (HADR) component, it’s high time we had such a unit so we could fund it separately without eating up the regular (expenses) to maintain peace and order,” Sarmiento told reporters.

Sarmiento noted that the police presence proved a big help to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“There’s a huge improvement in the reporting of the PNP because now they include photos,” Sarmiento said. ‘’Now we see right away if the (weather prediction) is confirmed. We have an idea of what’s happening on the ground.”

Marquez agreed.

“The data provided by technical people are crossmatched with the reports submitted by our police units. It gives our decision-makers a better picture of what’s happening on the ground,” Marquez said.

Commendations

“We validate the situation on the ground so the decision-makers at the NDRRMC would have a better handle of the situation (and) suitable intervention could be made.”

The PNP’s efforts to help those affected by Lando have not been lost on the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“We are preparing commendations for units that helped and showed heroism, risked their lives to rescue their countrymen. We are also looking at how to improve their equipment and welfare,” Sarmiento said.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

New DILG chief: Who is Mel Senen Sarmiento? By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 10, 2015 - 12:00am 6 1105 googleplus2 6


Newly-appointed Interior and Local Government Chief Mel Senen Sarmiento said he is ready to accept the challenge of "Daang Matuwid." Facebook/Mel Senen Sarmiento

MANILA, Philippines - Who is Western Samar Rep. and incoming interior and local government secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento?

The secretary general of the ruling Liberal Party has been appointed by President Aquino to replace party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II as new head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

On a Facebook post, Sarmiento’s nephew Drew described his uncle as a shy person who has always tried to avoid the limelight.

The younger Sarmiento said since the President’s announcement, he has been receiving various requests for the curriculum vitae of his uncle.

“I’m not surprised that people may have been clueless who he is, knowing how Rep. Mel has evaded the limelight while being a public official. And I will not be surprised if he chooses to work unnoticed if he accepts the challenge,” he said.

He said Sarmiento never intended to enter politics.

Sarmiento was an active member of the Rotary Club in Samar in the early ’90s and was involved in many outreach programs that he spearheaded.

At a young age, he was groomed to be the club’s governor and was later convinced to enter politics. He won as Calbayog City’s vice mayor – the youngest at 30.

In 1995, he returned to being a private citizen.

People of Calbayog would later clamor for his return to city hall – this time as its local chief executive. He heeded the call and easily won as mayor in 2001. He served three terms until 2010.

Sarmiento was a recipient of several awards, including Galing Pook, Konrad Adenauer, Competitive City Award.

Under Sarmiento, Calbayog competed with Naga City for the distinction as best LGU, a competition which made him a close friend to then mayor Jesse Robredo. They were both active in the League of Cities of the Philippines. Robredo died in a plane crash in 2012.

Robredo became DILG secretary while Sarmiento won as congressman of the 1st district of Samar in 2010. While serving in separate branches of government, they still pursued their advocacy on local governance, like ensuring the systemic review and updating of the Local Government Code.

Neutral Staying neutral while ensuring peaceful, honest and orderly elections in 2016 is what Sarmiento also hopes to accomplish as he formally assumes his new post tomorrow.

Turnover ceremonies are set for tomorrow at the DILG main office in Quezon City.

Sarmiento vowed not to allow the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other agencies under the DILG to be engaged in partisan politics.

“We will continue to uphold the high standards of the institution in public service and guarantee that the national police and the entire uniformed service under the DILG will be neutral in ensuring a peaceful, honest and orderly election in 2016,” he said in a statement. “We will remain steadfast in our fight against corruption.”

Sarmiento said he would continue to modernize the PNP, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and other agencies under the DILG.

He thanked President Aquino for giving him the opportunity to continue the reforms being implemented in the DILG.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. congratulated Sarmiento, saying the former Samar lawmaker was very qualified for the post.

Binay’s warning


POLITICAL RIVALS: VP BINAY AND FORMER DILG CHIEF ROXAS

Meanwhile, the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay expressed hopes the incoming DILG chief would not use the agency for partisan politics with the 2016 elections just eight months away.

“We are hoping against hope that the incoming DILG secretary would focus on key issues facing the DILG. But we know that Rep. Sarmiento is not only a loyal party man but a key official of the party,” Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman for media affairs, said in a statement.

Salgado also slammed the DILG for failing to address the problem of criminality as the department was reportedly focused on programs outside its mandate.

Earlier, Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, questioned the DILG’s P7.3-billion budget for programs that were not within the mandate or competence of the agency.

Binay’s camp also expressed concern that part of the budget would be used to bankroll the presidential campaign of Roxas. – With Paolo Romero, Marvin Sy


PHILSTAR

PNoy denies reports of slow gov't response to 'Lando' (philstar.com) | Updated October 20, 2015 - 11:01am 1 18 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III distributes relief goods to displaced families in typhoon-hit Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija on Monday. Twitter/DSWD Central Luzon

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III disproved reports that government response has been slow in the areas affected by lingering Typhoon Lando.

In an interview with reporters after distributing relief goods in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Aquino said the government prepared relief aid and the necessary equipment even before the typhoon hit land.

"Slow response time? I think we have pre-positioned not just the relief supplies but also the equipment with DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) in so many different areas," Aquino said on Monday.

Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali backed the president's claim, saying 7,000 food packs were delivered earlier by the national government to his province.

"Actually, before we asked they already delivered these said packs," he said.

RELATED: PNoy says Lando's effects expected for 3 days, flooding still imminent

While denying that government response has been slow, Aquino also admitted that the present condition of some typhoon-hit areas have affected the relief operations.

"It's still going to be a challenge. In Gabaldon, I think, here in this province, you have very large boulders that are blocking the road but the equipment is present ‎and they will proceed to remove all of this debris, but it does take some time," he said.

READ MORE...

LIVE updates: Typhoon Lando

Aquino cited the lessons that the government has learned from Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 such as improved communication and coordination with local government units (LGUs).

He said Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Sarmiento called up all of the governors of the provinces in the projected path of the typhoon to determine their preparations and needs.

"The first thing that we didn't take for granted is the capacity of the LGU," Aquino said.

The president added that Project NOAH of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration continues to be fine-tuned.

"We are monitoring all of these major river systems and of course the Doppler radars are able to tell us how much rain will be dumped in what particular areas. But it is still a work in progress," he said. - Louis Bacani

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

UN lauds Philippines handling of Typhoon Lando October 20, 2015 8:48 am


Residents help each other as they use a rope to cross a flood current in Santa Rosa town, Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila on October 19, 2015, a day after typhoon Koppu hit Aurora province. Residents of flooded farming villages in the Philippines were trapped on their rooftops October 19 and animals floated down fast-rising rivers, as deadly Typhoon Koppu dumped more intense rain. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

UNITED NATIONS: Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu), which made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, is slow moving and is expected to continue bringing rainfall along its path, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Monday.

At least 10 people were killed and five others injured as Typhoon Koppu lashed the northern Philippines for the second day, the government reported.

The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, lauded the Philippines government for its efforts to reduce mortality and the numbers of people affected by the typhoon.

“The communication of early warnings in the Philippines has improved significantly since Typhoon Haiyan claimed over 6,000 lives in November 2013,” said Wahlstrom in a press release.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a daily briefing that “the UN is working with the government to carry out rapid needs assessments to better understand the humanitarian impact of the Typhoon.”

The UN Children’s Fund has pre-positioned supplies for about 12,000 families, including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, school supplies, therapeutic food, tents and generators, said Dujarric.

According to local authorities, a total of 283,486 persons were affected in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol and Cordillera Administrative Region, with 36 road sections and 18 bridges remaining not impassable.

Powerful winds and heavy rain caused power interruptions in three cities and 65 municipalities in Luzon. Bad weather also led to the cancellation of 48 flights, with more than 5,000 passengers and 215 rolling cargoes stranded. PNA/Xinhua


MANILA BULLETIN

‘Lando’ damage rises to P9 billion by Elena L. Aben October 24, 2015 Share2 Tweet13 Share0 Email1 Share95


STILL RISING – Six days have passed since Typhoon ‘Lando’ ravaged Northern and Central Luzon, yet floodwaters continue to rise in Pampanga and Bulacan as may be seen in these aerial photos of the inundated National Road in San Luis, Pampanga and the isolated residences in Candaba, Pampanga

The estimated cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon “Lando” (international name: “Koppu”) in Central and Northern Luzon climbed to more than P9 billion, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

However, the NDRRMC is expecting that the damage will further increase once it completes its rapid assessment of areas hit by the typhoon in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A and in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

As of Friday, the NDRRMC estimated some P8,242,946,236 worth of agriculture and livestocks have been destroyed or lost while an additional P1,185,859,431 in infrastructure was damaged, including 92 road sections and 11 bridges.

The NDRRMC said a total of 741 schools in provinces across Luzon were destroyed or damaged by Lando –240 schools destroyed and 511 partially damaged.

But the Department of Education (DepEd) had a higher figure. It said 190 classrooms were totally damaged in eight regions affected by Lando.

Likewise, 26,124 houses were destroyed or damaged in Central and Northern Luzon, particularly in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Quezon, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

Local authorities said floodwaters have incessantly come from Aurora and Nueva Ecija, causing massive inundation in these areas as of yesterday. (Federico Cruz) Local authorities said floodwaters have incessantly come from Aurora and Nueva Ecija, causing massive inundation in these areas as of yesterday. (Federico Cruz) Latest data released by the NDRRMC also showed that a total of 295,835 families or 1,407,805 persons were affected by Lando. Of the total number, 108,688 individuals are still housed in government-run evacuation centers.

The NDRRMC recorded 498 incidents, mostly flooding, during the onslaught of the typhoon.

Flooding was reported in 479 towns and municipalities in the provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Cagayan and Benguet.

POWER RESTORED

While power has been restored in most of the areas battered by the typhoon, at least five cities and 52 municipalities were still experiencing power outages.

The NDRRMC said its death toll count has also increased to 46, while 82 persons were injured, and five still missing. But data gathered from regional offices of disaster agencies earlier placed the death toll at 58.

READ MORE...

The devastation wrought by the Lando has also prompted local governments to declare the following under a state of calamity: Isabela, Aurora, Ilagan City in Isabela, Arayat, Apalit, Candaba, Macabebe, Masantol, San Simon, and San Luis in Pampanga, Supon, Ilocos Sur; Calumpit, Bulacan; Infanta and General Nakar in Quezon, Camiling and Ramos in Tarlac.

AIRBORNE RELIEF

Airborne rescue teams have dropped relief goods and other basic needs to people stranded on rooftops in several villages here and in the neighboring coastal town of Hagonoy as rampaging back floods coming from Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac continue to flow downstream in the two coastal towns, the perennial catch basin of back floods during typhoon season.

Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Liz Mungcal said that volunteer aerial rescue teams from PureForce Corporation airlifted and distributed relief goods to people who were isolated by back floods in some villages which were submerged under 5 to 9 feet since Monday morning.

“They are a big help in sending assistance to flood victims in Calumpit and Hagonoy. They have reached stranded victims, most of whom are temporarily sheltered on makeshift tents on rooftops that cannot be immediately reached by our rescue teams due to strong current,” she said.

SUBMERGED VILLAGES

As of 6 a.m. Friday, Mungcal said 24 villages in Calumpit are still submerged under 4 to 9 feet of floodwaters while 16 villages in Hagonoy were under 3 to 8 feet of floods.

In nearby Pulilan town, 12 low-lying areas are being swallowed by floodwaters from the Candaba swamp in Candaba, Pampanga and are under 2 to 3 feet of water.

The village of Pinalagdan in Paombong town was also flooded under 3 to 4 feet of water.

She also said that Hagonoy Mayor Raul “Amboy” Manlapaz and Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus have already placed their respective towns under state of calamity due to the still rising floods.

Some 2,079 families from the affected towns are still housed in the various evacuation centers in the said areas.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando are personally supervising rescue and relief operations in the said towns, including San Miguel which was also severely flooded during the onslaught of Lando.

The water level at Angat Dam has risen from 203 meters last Thursday to 204.3 meters Friday morning.

The water level in Ipo dam is 100.6 meters (spilling level 101 meters) while the water level at Bustos dam is 17.37 meters (spilling level 17.70 meters).

COLLECTION FOR ‘LANDO’

Parishes, shrines and chapels in the Archdiocese of Manila will have a second collection in all masses on Sunday, October 25, 2015, for the victims of Lando and the archdiocese’s disaster fund.

The second collection was requested by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle.

The request was contained in a circular issued October 19, 2015, by the Archdiocese’s Chancellor, Fr. Reginald R. Malicdem.

The circular also directed that the special collection for Prison Awareness Sunday (October 25) be moved to November 8, 2015.

The collections must be immediately remitted to the Treasury and Accounting Department at the Arzobispado de Manila.

Meanwhile, four Caritas Internationalis member countries have already pledged its support to the on-going relief operations by the Philippine Catholic Church for the victims of Lando.

The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) or Caritas Philippines identified the four and as Caritas Germany with P2-million pledge, Caritas Spain with P2.5-million pledge, Catholic Relief Services (Caritas USA) with P2.12 million pledge, and Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands) with P2.32 million pledge.

NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez thanked the Caritas member countries saying their support would surely go a long way. (With reports from PNA, Freddie G. Lazaro, Merlina H. Malipot, and Leslie Ann G. Aquino)


PHILSTAR

NDRRMC: 100,000 families affected by ‘Lando’ By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated October 21, 2015 - 2:36pm 3 26 googleplus0 0


Commuters ride a farm tractor as it maneuvers through strong floodwaters along a highway in La Paz township, Tarlac province in northern Philippines Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Two days after Typhoon Koppu (local name "Lando") battered northern Philippines residents began cleaning up their muddied homes. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – The number of deaths due to the battering of then Typhoon Lando in the northern part of the country rose to 35 on Wednesday, while 100,000 families were estimated to have been affected, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Council (NDRRMC) said.

In a televised press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, NDRRMC Undersecretary Alexander Pama said the 35 fatalities reported included the missing persons in northern and Central Luzon. She noted that 16 of which were from the Cordillera region alone.

The agency also reported 24 injured during the onslaught of “Lando” since the weekend.

NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said there are 194,387 families or 907,267 persons affected by the typhoon which has weakened on Wednesday into a tropical depression.

There are also 512 evacuations housing 25,293 families or 112, 822 persons while the evacuees from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal at Quezon) region already returned to their respective homes.

The weather disturbance also triggered 762 flooding incidents in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Cagayan and Benguet, six drowning incidents, two collapsed walls, two electrocution incidents and five toppled trees.

NDRRMC warned the residents of the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga against further flooding as waters from the higher land continue to flow downstream.

READ MORE...

Marasigan said the agency is mulling the opening gates of some dams if necessary. The agency is also monitoring the water levels of dams of Ambuklao, Binga, San Roque and Magat.

“Makiisa sana tayo sa panawagan ng pamahalaan kapag po sa ganitong panahon na mayroong pagbabanta na ganito kung kalian na po talagang lumikas na diyan simulan na po natin para makalipat tayo sa mas ligtas na lugar,” Marasigan said.

Due to the flooding and landslides, 128 road sections were left impassable while 24 bridges were closed.

Some roads such as Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya road is now open at a limited capacity while Mt. Province via Taboc Enrile road and Baguio’s PMA road is also now open. The government is looking into accomplishing land trips along Baler and Casiguran as it is also now passable.

Typhoon Lando’s aftermath also included 6,947 damaged houses, 540 of which are totally damaged and 6,407 are partially damaged in Regions 1, 2, 3 and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

NDRRMC assured that the government is currently conducting aerial survey and assessment to provide comprehensive report on the damage caused by the cyclone.

The agencies also organized a response team to help in the relief operations and medical assistance.

“Patuloy pa rin naman po ang ating operations sa pagtutugon sa ating mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan lalo na dito sa area ng central Luzon at northern Luzon,” Marasigan said.

As of midday Wednesday, the government has provided about P6.1 billion to restore destroyed agriculture in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, Calabarzon and CAR while almost P5.5 million was provided for infrastructure.

On Wednesday afternoon, NDRRMC confirmed that Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman visited Casiguran, Baler, Aurora to conduct aerial survey.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Benguet police chief axed over Lando deaths as death toll soars to 58 By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 22, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Residents wade through raging floodwaters brought about by Typhoon Lando (international Koppu) at Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Slow-moving Typhoon Lando blew ashore with fierce wind in the northeastern Philippines early Sunday, toppling trees and knocking out power and communications and forcing the evacuation of thousands of villagers. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

CASIGURAN, Aurora, Philippines – Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento yesterday ordered the relief of the Benguet police provincial director for inefficient preparation after the province suffered the highest number of casualties at 14 during Typhoon Lando.

Sarmiento directed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez to relieve Sr. Supt. David Lacsan from his post.

“I asked the PNP chief to relieve the PD (police director) of Benguet. What did he do? Why did that happen?” Sarmiento remarked.

Widespread flooding in Central Luzon caused by Lando had eased but the storm’s death toll climbed to 58 and tens of thousands of people remained in evacuation centers.

Lando (international name Koppu) melted into a low- pressure area yesterday as it crossed Balintang Channel in the Batanes Islands, the state weather bureau said.

As the weather improved three days after the onslaught of Lando, officials were also counting the cost of ruined crops and drowned livestock from heavy rain that flowed into the vast farming regions in Central Luzon.

Local officials of Casiguran, the town that bore the brunt of the category 4 typhoon last Sunday, are seeking help from the national government.

They pointed out 90 percent of the town was devastated in the wake of Lando.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Lando left P6.57 billion worth of damage to crops and infrastructure.

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Heavy rains across the mountainous northern Luzon, the cause of most of the flooding in the farming plains, had also eased, disaster officials said.

The deaths in the flooded areas were caused mostly by drowning, but also electrocution and crumbling walls, while one person died due to snake bite.

Another 20 people were killed in the Cordillera Administrative Region, 14 of them in Benguet province, where the intense rain triggered landslides that buried homes and destroyed roads.

Elsewhere across the country, people were killed in inclement weather – 13 in Central Luzon, nine from Western Visayas, eight from the Ilocos region, five from Cagayan Valley, two from Metro Manila and one from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), bringing the total to 58.

Aside from the 58 deaths, 87 persons were injured while nine others have gone missing and are presumed dead.

But some other missing were found. They included six mountaineers and their three guides on Mt. Davildavilan in Dingalan, Aurora and three fishermen off the shores of Bataan. They were among the reported missing at the height of Typhoon Lando last weekend.

Sarmiento noted Benguet registered the highest number of casualties that could have been prevented were it not for the lack of preparatory measures.

“The casualties, instead of 11, climbed to 14. We warned them that this storm would bring heavy rains that would result in landslides. Considering the terrain there, it is landslide prone so they could have imposed a forced evacuation and those were the instructions. Force them to move out,” Sarmiento told reporters as he led a team in assessing the response operation for the affected families in Casiguran, considered ground zero of Typhoon Lando.

The typhoon since downgraded to a storm has been lingering in Northern and Central Luzon, bringing heavy rains since Saturday as it moved at a slow pace of four to six kilometers per hour for days.

Sarmiento said the NDRRMC reported similar incidents happen about twice a year, thus the police officials in the region should know the preparations needed.

“That (high casualty rate) is not something I find acceptable,” Sarmiento said.

Although there were preparations, Sarmiento said it was not enough to protect the people in Benguet.

“The police are there to serve and protect, that’s part of the job of the PNP,” he said.

The previous day’s death toll had been 30. But the figure climbed partly due to reports coming in from remote areas, and not just because of new deaths on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The flooding has not completely subsided, forcing more than 107,000 people to remain in evacuation centers, the NDRRMC said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said the roads going to Baguio City are now open, except for Kennon Road.

The state weather bureau, on the other hand, has lifted all storm warning signals in the affected areas.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Lando was spotted at 120 kilometers southeast of Basco, Batanes.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the low-pressure area is likely to dissipate while inside the Philippine area of responsibility within the next 24 hours.

However, the low-pressure area would still bring light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms over the Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley until today.

PAGASA advised fisherfolk not to venture out to the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon due to big waves generated by the tail end of a cold front.

No tropical cyclone is expected to enter the country in the next three days, PAGASA said.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will continue to experience fair weather with isolated thunderstorms until the weekend.

Tomorrow and Sunday would have generally fair weather conditions, apart from isolated thunderstorms expected in the whole country, PAGASA said. –Jaime Laude, Helen Flores, Evelyn Macairan, Rainier Allan Ronda, Ric Sapnu, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Mike Frialde, Ding Cervantes, Jun Elias, Raymund Catindig


State of calamity in Isabela, La Union By Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 24, 2015 - 12:00am 2 3 googleplus0 0


Photo provided by Staff Sgt. Roldan Medina of the Philippine Air Force shows inundated houses and rice fields as rescue helicopters flew over Bayambang, Pangasinan the other day. Tropical Storm Lando finally blew away from Luzon earlier this week after forcing thousands of villagers into emergency shelters and destroying rice fields ready for harvest.

TUGUEGARAO, Philippines – The provinces of Isabela and La Union were placed under a state of calamity yesterday in the aftermath of Typhoon Lando that damaged billions of pesos worth of crops and infrastructure.

Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III said the destruction to agriculture in the province had soared close to P800 million.

Department of Agriculture regional director Lucrecio Alviar said Isabela was the most devastated province in Region 2 with over 120,600 hectares of rice land destroyed, followed by Cagayan with 83,000 hectares.

La Union, on the other hand, listed P280 million worth of damage to crops, fisheries and livestock.

The Provincial Agricultural Office said 7,760 hectares of farmland were submerged.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council pegged damage to infrastructure at P71 million.

Provincial agricultural officer Imelda Sannadan said Lando destroyed P214 million worth of agriculture in the province.

Fishponds and fish cages in the towns of Aringay and Sto. Tomas were destroyed, losing more than P23 million worth of milkfish and tilapia.

READ MORE...

Damage to vegetable and corn crops was estimated at P5.5 million and P150, 373 respectively, while P946,400 worth of tree crops were destroyed.

The province of Pangasinan, which was earlier placed under a state of calamity, posted P1.3 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council yesterday reported that Pangasinan suffered damage worth P821,073,929.49 to agriculture, P353,867, 000 to infrastructure and P166,260,000 to houses.

Central Luzon reported total damage worth more than P7 billion in crops and infrastructure.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the amount of damage to agriculture in the region had reached P6.8 million and more than P500 million in infrastructure.

The National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday that the damage Typhoon Lando wrought to agriculture and infrastructure in Luzon was estimated at P9 billion. –Jaime Laude, Eva Visperas, Ric Sapnu, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Manny Galvez, Vic Alhambra


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

Lando’s damage posted October 23, 2015 at 12:01 am



Super typhoon “Lando” caught the government flatfooted again. The typhoon was not as ferocious as “Yolanda” that ripped Tacloban City and the rest of central Visayas in late 2013, but it was equally destructive after lingering over central and northern Luzon for over a week.

The slow-moving typhoon caused floods and swept past several provinces, most of them agricultural producing areas. Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Aurora, Mountain Province, Benguet, Quirino, Kalinga, Nueva Vizcaya and the Ilocos region are among the hardest-hit areas.

Initial government estimates put the crop and livestock damage in Luzon at over P6 billion. The figure is certain to rise dramatically, as rice farmers were about to harvest their produce before the typhoon struck.

Lessons should be learned from Lando’s destruction. The typhoon lasted for over a week as predicted by the weather bureau, and any storm hovering for days and with a strength of over 100 kilometers per hour is expected to wreak great havoc along its path.

The weather bureau needs more modern equipment to accurately track typhoons, measure the amount of rainfall that will fall over a 24- or 48-hour period and pinpoint the areas to be submerged by floodwaters.

Local government units must also be vigilant on the approaching typhoon. Lando has killed 41 people and injured 78 so far. Many, as shown by TV footages, were surprised by rising floodwaters and had to be evacuated by government personnel at the last minute.

Lando’s destruction will be felt in the months to come, especially by rice farmers in Central Luzon who had lost their income. The recovery period may not be easy as El Niño has yet to intensify.

The government this early must initiate a financing program to help farmers replant their crops and families rebuild their homes. The state, meanwhile, must strictly enforce its disaster risk reduction program. It should permanently ban the construction of houses along identified disaster-prone areas to limit the damage to property and save lives.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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