MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has received the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to place the entire Luzon under a state of calamity due to widespread damage caused by Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoons Quinta and Ulysses, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured that while Duterte has yet to make a decision regarding the recommendation, he was confident that areas that experienced massive flooding will be placed under a state of calamity.
“Tinanggap po ng Presidente ang rekomendasyon ng NDRRMC na ilagay ang buong isla ng Luzon [under state of calamity] pero habang wala pa pong desisyon ang ating Presidente e ang inaasahan po natin na sigurado naman pong mailalagay sa state of calamity yung mga lugar sa Luzon na talagang naapektuhan ng pagbaha dulot ng mga sunud-sunod na pag-ulan (The President has received the recommendation of the NDRRMC to place the island of Luzon under state of calamity, but while he hasn’t made a decision yet, we expect him to declare state of calamity in areas in Luzon that experienced flooding due to successive rains),” he said in a press briefing in Alcala, Cagayan.
On Monday, the NDRRMC announced that it has approved a resolution recommending to Duterte to place the entire Luzon under a state of calamity after three consecutive typhoons ravaged the country.
A declaration of a state of calamity hastens rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance.
It also effectively controls the prices of basic goods and commodities in the affected areas.
On Nov. 9, Roque said Duterte is likely to place areas hit by successive typhoons under state of calamity.
Typhoon Quinta, which made a landfall on Oct. 25, left PHP1.56 billion worth of damage to agriculture and PHP2.66 billion worth of damage to infrastructure.
In the same month, Super Typhoon Rolly left PHP12.9 billion infrastructure worth of damages and PHP5 billion worth of agricultural damages.
Typhoons Siony and Tonyo did not cause significant damage, but Typhoon Ulysses, which made its first landfall in Catanduanes on Nov. 11 was as devastating as “Quinta” and “Rolly”.
Typhoon Ulysses left PHP2.1 billion and PHP483 million worth of damages in agriculture and infrastructure, respectively.
Over the weekend, Duterte created a task force to implement immediate solutions to disaster rehabilitation and recovery of typhoon-hit areas outside of the current bureaucratic framework.
An executive order to form the task force, which will be headed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, is currently being drafted.
Members of the task force include representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Budget and Management and Social Welfare and Development; National Irrigation Administration; National Electrification Administration; National Housing Authority, among others. (PNA)