ILOILO CITY – The Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) of Oton town in Iloilo province has declared a state of calamity due to the heavy rains and floods brought by Typhoon Goring and the southwest monsoon.

In a special session conducted Friday afternoon, the council unanimously approved the resolution sponsored by council member Rodolfo Alconga Jr., which stated that “heavy rains and flooding on Aug. 28 and 29, 2023 resulted in the disruption of classes, business transactions, and government offices and damage to the agriculture sector.”

Citing an assessment of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the resolution noted that 23 barangays were directly affected, with more than 850 families equivalent to 3,587 persons evacuated.

Meanwhile, damage to agriculture, as reported by the municipal agriculture and cooperative office, was put at more than PHP8.3 million.

“This declaration of the state of calamity brought about by heavy rains and flooding caused by super typhoon Goring and enhanced by the southwest monsoon will aid this municipality for the prevention and control efforts, particularly in terms of mobilizing resources, utilizing appropriate funds, including quick response fund,” the resolution read.

Oton Vice Mayor Jose Neil Olivarez also instructed the committee on agriculture to see if they could already lift a declaration passed in October last year that also placed the municipality under a state of calamity due to African swine fever.

“As of now, two declarations (placing Oton) under the state of calamity have been in effect in our municipality,” Olivarez said. (PNA)