Marcos: No need to declare national calamity over 'Paeng' deaths, damage


MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to put the whole country under a state of national calamity is unnecessary.

In a briefing after a situation assessment in Cavite, Marcos pointed out that the damage caused by Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) is “highly localized” and not as extensive.

“We’re talking about the east coast Quezon, here in Cavite, then Maguindanao… those are the areas… like in the Visayas, there’s no need for a national calamity for Region 1, and Region 2 as well,” Marcos told reporters in mixed English and Filipino on Monday. 

The chief executive said that he consulted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the matter. 

NDRRMC earlier wanted to put the country under a state of national calamity due to the impact of Paeng, which battered the country over the weekend, leaving nearly 100 individuals dead. The disaster agency noted that 16 out of the country’s 17 regions were considered “high risk” due to the weather disturbance. 

In a situation briefing with the NDRRMC on Saturday, Marcos appeared hesitant and already pointed out that some areas of the country are “not in a state of calamity," but said he will look into the proposal. 

NDRRMC’s latest situational report showed that 98 died after the onslaught of the severe tropical storm, 53 of the 58 confirmed deaths were logged from the Bangsamoro region. On top of that, 69 individuals were left injured and authorities are still on the lookout for 63 other people.

READ: 'Paeng' death toll jumps to 98, over 1.8 million individuals affected

Paeng affected 575,728 families or 1.812 million individuals across the country. 

Meanwhile, damaged houses were estimated to cost P12.415 million, infrastructure damage stood at P757.841 million as of Monday, and agricultural damage was pegged at over P435.464 million.

Paeng leaves the Philippine monitoring area just as another tropical storm, named by the state weather bureau as "Queenie," enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility. Queenie is forecast to affect the eastern part of Caraga and other places in Eastern Visayas.— with report from Xave Gregorio

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