The Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council unanimously passed a resolution yesterday recommending that the province be placed under a state of calamity after several days of rains displaced thousands of Negrenses in the southern and central towns and cities.
This developed as flood-hit Sipalay City, Hinoba-an and Ilog declared states of calamities at their levels yesterday.
Officials of other flood-hit towns and cities were assessing flood damage yesterday to determine whether they need to declare states of calamities in their areas, too.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., presided over a PDRRMC meeting yesterday afternoon, where heads of Capitol departments involved in relief and quick response operations who were fielded Sunday and early yesterday morning to affected local government units, rendered reports.
Marañon said he also visited the south yesterday and saw to the release of food and medical assistance to the flood-hit areas.
Marlin Sanogal, PDRRMC action officer and concurrent Provincial Planning and Development Office chief, moved for the passage of the resolution to declare the province under a state of calamity. The move needs the concurrence of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Wednesday so the provincial government can use its quick response fund estimated at P28.79 million.
Marañon explained that while the province is calling for a state of calamity, application of resources will only be applied to affected LGUs.
Marañon said that, based on assessment reports tackled during the two-hour meeting, 15 LGUs had been hit by floods and landslides, rendering thousands either stranded or evacuated.
Affected was the whole CHICKS area covering Cauayan, Hinoba-an, Ilog and Candoni, and the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay.
Other government units that experienced flooding were Fifth District LGUs Hinigaran, Himamaylan City, Isabela, Binalbagan, Moises Padilla and La Castellana.
La Carlota City and San Enrique experienced flooding as well.
Landslides were also reported in Salvador Benedicto town, La Castellana, Hinoba-an and Sipalay.
The floods affected 15,938 families from 57 barangays in five towns and four cities, a Provincial Disaster Management Division report as of 10:30 p.m. yesterday showed.
Affected families by the flooding in Ilog were 9,986, Hinigaran – 293, Hinoba-an – 2,240, Isabela - 100, San Enrique – 2,212, Sipalay City - 217, Kabankalan City – 147, La Carlota City – 58 and Himamaylan City – 685.
The Provincial Social Welfare Office said each family has an average of five members. That brings to roughly about 79,690 individuals affected by the floods.
The PDMT report also said 22,605 individuals had sought refuge in evacuation centers, with the bulk having gone home when the waters subsided.
Classes in most of the flood-hit areas were suspended yesterday.
Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla and Hinoba-an Mayor Ernesto Estrao told the DAILY STAR that states of calamity had been declared in their areas so they could allocate funds for the needs of those affected by the floods.
Montilla said landslides between Sipalay and Hinoba-an had rendered the roads impassable for a while but they had been cleared as of yesterday.
In Hinoba-an, three houses were also destroyed and five were damaged. Estrao also said an Everest vehicle was swept off the highway by floodwaters in Hinoba-an Sunday night.
Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) said a state of calamity would also be declared in Ilog town.
Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco and San Enrique Mayor Mario Magno said they were assessing whether states of calamities should be declared in their areas.
“Thank God the sun is out, most of the people had returned to their houses,” Zayco said.*CPG