Bukidnon declares state of calamity over ‘Vinta’ damages

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/16 January 2018) The Provincial Government of Bukidnon placed the entire province under a state of calamity over the devastation brought by tropical storm “Vinta,” estimated at P584.06 million, including P109 million attributed to agriculture.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bukidnon adopted on January 16 the resolution passed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on January 8 recommending the declaration.

About P203.75 million or 35 percent of the damage was attributed to agriculture with P109 million, local infrastructure at P85 million and houses amounting to P9.66 million. The larger part, P380.3 million, was attributed to damage on national roads and bridges across the province.

The declaration was made 24 days after the occurrence of tropical storm Vinta, internationally known as “Tembin”.

According to the memorandum order issued by the National Disaster Coordinating Council in March 1998, within 24 hours after the impact of the disaster, the local disaster coordinating council shall conduct survey to determine extent of casualties and damage and acting upon the damage assessment and recommendation of the local chief executive, the local sanggunian should pass a resolution declaring the state of calamity.

Israel Johan M. Damasco Jr, Acting PDRRMO of Bukidnon said it took time to reconcile data from different towns and cities due to some level of lack of coordination.

According to the PDRRMC, the tropical storm, which hit the country on December 22 with Bukidnon placed along with 15 other provinces under Tropical Storm Signal Warning No. 2, caused serious damages to houses, infrastructures and agricultural crops in 13 of Bukidnon’s 22 towns and cities.

The City of Valencia and the Municipality of Baungon have earlier declared state of calamity in their areas.

The biggest hit were the towns of San Fernando with a total estimated cost of damage at P52.6 million, the town of Kitaotao with P30.7 million and Quezon town with P26.5 million.

More than half of the cost of damage in San Fernando, or P33.4 million, was attributed to agriculture, which comprises 31 percent of the total agriculture damage Bukidnon-wide.

Datu Jimboy Catawanan, chair of the people’s organization called SOLEDKI (Saamulan ne Ogpaan te Langun ne Etew alan te Keupianan te Inged or Solidarity of People in the Community as the way to the Development of the Ancestral Land), said it was the worst to hit them so far.

Catawanan said of the 150 hectares they have planted to corn in their area and were about the harvest this month, only about 20 hectares were spared, those in elevated areas.

A total of 1,317 farmers reported incurring losses over about 5,178 hectares of farms. The PDRRMO report did not disaggregate the damage according to crops.

The other localities affected include Baungon with P24.1 million, Talakag with P22.1 million, Valencia City with P18.8 million, Malaybalay City with P13.4 million, Kibawe with P6.6 million, Dangcagan with P5 million, Libona with P2.8 million, Maramag with P457,000, Malitbog with P300,000 and Manolo Fortich with P157,608 cost of damage.

‘Vinta’ claimed seven lives and another one person was declared missing, the PDRRMC said in its resolution.

The PDRRMC report cited that a total of 9,770 families or 35,957 persons were affected by the tropical storm. Almost half of which, or 17,556 persons (49 percent), were from San Fernando town.  Valencia City came second in terms of persons affected with 8,095 or about 23 percent.

The PDRRMC reported a total of 762 houses damaged by ‘Vinta’ with 494 “totally damaged”.

The declaration, as stated in the resolution, will further afford the LGUs to use the calamity fund and for the provincial government to augment the local funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

According to Republic Act 10121, “not less than 5 percent of the estimated revenue from regular sources shall be set aside as the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF)”. (Walter I. Balane/Contributor)