PGIN leads post-calamity ops, NGAs reinforce "Ineng" relief

Aug 27, 2019 ...

Days after Severe Tropical Storm "Ineng" devastated the province, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) continues to strengthen its post-disaster rehabilitation and relief efforts.

"We have been focused on our people as we deliver food packs to those most in need. We are also delivering medicines, different agricultural inputs, and construction materials.

"Our electricity is back, our water service has returned, all national roads are now passable and most provincial roads as well," Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc declared in a press briefing yesterday.

He further commended the proactive work of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Council (PDRRMRC) composed of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Sustainable Development Center (SDC), Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), Provincial Veterinary Office (PVet), and the Provincial Health Office (PHO.)

"I would like to thank our department heads, our armed personnel, and national government agencies sa tulong po ninyo. We cannot surmount this alone.

"To those who have been working tirelessly, you are the heroes of this calamity," Manotoc exclaimed.

On August 23, Severe Tropical Storm "Ineng" battered Ilocos Norte, causing damage in agriculture and infrastructure with an estimated cost of 1.2 billion pesos according to the PDRRMRC's latest data.

The Provincial Government continues to seek help from national government agencies (NGAs) and charitable groups to supply relief packs to affected residents.

"Kailangan po talagang patuloy na magbigay ng food packs.  Hindi lang po para sa 'Ineng' pero para in the future may stock pa rin tayo."

Moreover, representatives from NGAs such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), National Food Authority (NFA), Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), National Irrigation Administration (NIA) were present to amplify relief operations. Also present were to extend assistance were Senator Imee R. Marcos and Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.

"We appreciate your help, especially the personal appearance of our Senators and our department secretaries," Manotoc said.

Farmers to receive calamity assistance

With 167 million worth of damages in agriculture alone, DA Secretary William D. Dar assured the Ilocano farming communities support from the department.

"We have brought here inbred and hybrid rice seeds, corn seeds, including vegetable seeds worth more than 18 million. We have ruled out to provide loan assistance to our farmers worth Php 25, 000 per hectare, payable within three years with zero interest," Dar mentioned.

DA also coordinated with the NFA in buying "wet" and "dry" palay seeds to help farmers recover from their losses.

"The DA was one of the first to respond. Nagpapasalamat po kami for your continued assistance," Manotoc said to express his gratitude.

Over 5k food packs distributed, more to come

In coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippines Army who provided transportation and manpower, the Department of Social Welfare and Development headed by Secretary Rolando D. Bautista brought to Ilocos Norte five thousand food packs for the victims of STS "Ineng."

"There are more trucks carrying food packs and we are pushing them here in Laoag." Secretary Bautista said.

DSWD also offers financial assistance to those residents whose houses were "partially" or "totally" damaged, as well as financial compensation for the families of the casualties and to those who were injured.

"Gusto po naming mapadali ang pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga nasalanta," he ended.

As of today, PGIN has already conducted two rounds of relief operations. It continuously coordinates with local executives to address the needs of affected families.

by Edison Justin Deus



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