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Ambo-hit Eastern Samar towns under state of calamity

Miriam Desacada (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2020 - 12:00am

SAMAR, Philippines — Nine towns in Eastern Samar have been declared under a state of calamity due to the damage from Typhoon Ambo.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution on Monday on the calamity declaration in Arteche, Maslog, Oras, Sulat, Taft, Jipapad, Can-avid, San Policarpo and Dolores, where damage due to the typhoon to infrastructure was estimated at P58 million and to agriculture at close to P1 billion.

The provincial disaster risk reduction and management office said more than 34,000 families in the nine towns were displaced as thousands of houses were destroyed by strong winds or affected by flooding.

The declaration will ensure access to calamity funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Gov. Ben Evardone appealed for assistance to Eastern Samar, the ground zero of devastation due to Ambo in Eastern Visayas.

“We are facing a great challenge in fighting the spread of COVID (coronavirus disease 2019), which is made worse with the destruction due to Ambo... It is appalling. It was pitiable to see the devastation as we went around various towns,” Evardone said.

P700-M quick response fund

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is preparing a P700-million quick response fund to rehabilitate affected areas and assist farmers and fishermen in typhoon-hit areas.

The DA said damage to agriculture climbed to P1.14 billion, with high-value crops hardest hit at P793 million.

Losses were also reported in rice, corn, livestock and fisheries.

The DA prepositioned 109,586 bags of rice seeds, 10,116 bags of corn seeds and 1,195 kilos of vegetable seeds.

Drugs and other biologics for livestock and poultry were distributed.

The DA-Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) said it would grant an initial P90.5 million to around 11,500 farmers and fishermen with insurance coverage.

“The number of beneficiaries may go up as we conduct validation of more affected areas. We gave strict instructions to our personnel to conduct adjustment activities and process indemnity payments soonest,” PCIC president Jovy Bernabe said. Louise Maureen Simeon

EASTERN SAMAR PCIC
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