POST-TYPHOON CHECK. President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, is briefed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap on the damage brought by Typhoon Odette on Sunday (Dec.19, 2021). The provincial government appealed for help in airlifting food packs for the island villages that were cut off from the mainland after sea travel was suspended due to the typhoon. (Photo from the Facebook page of Gov. Arthur Yap)

CEBU CITY – Bohol province is still reeling from the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette, which claimed 80 lives in 42 localities during its onslaught on Thursday night.

The provincial capitol also reported on Monday that 14 people are still missing, 78 were injured, and 28,845 individuals are still in the evacuation sites.

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go visited Bohol to personally assess the devastation brought by the typhoon.

Governor Arthur Yap requested the President to provide the province with generator sets to power the town's water pumping stations, as electricity lines are still down.

He said the President promised to give Bohol PHP2 billion in financial assistance.

Liza Quirog, head of the Capitol's promotions department, said the province needs air assets to transport food to the islands, where residents depend on the mainland and neighboring province of Cebu for their supplies.

"We need power support (at least 15 hp generators) to run water refilling stations. In northern towns and islands, we need clothes in addition to food and water. We need air assets to deliver food in nearby islands," Quirog told the Philippine News Agency.

She said major roads in different towns are now passable after the clearing operations conducted by the Provincial and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices.

However, she emphasized the pressing concern of the province, which is the delivery of relief goods to the islands as sea travel has been cut off after the typhoon.

"We need air assets to take care of the islands. The food packs from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) in Manila and Cebu could be flown in through PAF (Philippine Air Force) helicopters," Quirog said.

Yap thanked the Visayas Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for sending a Philippine Navy ship and Landing Craft 295, as well as a backhoe unit, KM 450 truck and 17 personnel from the 53rd Engineering Brigade to help in the relief efforts. The military assets landed via the Tubigon port.

Addressing water shortage

Meanwhile, Secretary Michael Dino, head of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), said in a statement the national government is now doing its best to address the water supply problem in Bohol and Cebu.

As a stop-gap measure, the Office of the President, through OPAV, will be sending 150,000 liters of bottled water for distribution in Bohol and 500,000 liters of bottled water in Cebu.

Dino negotiated for the use of a mobile water treatment plant using reverse osmosis technology from Vivant Corp. and Watermatic Philippines, hoping to produce water for both provinces.

Capable of producing 100 cubic meters of potable water per day, the equipment was delivered to Tagbilaran port on Sunday and will be stationed in Loboc to address the shortage of potable water in the town.

"Water is also a problem in Bohol province, especially in Loboc town, which is badly hit by Odette. The town experienced flooding in the aftermath of the super typhoon," Dino said.

Communications, power down

Yap said communication lines also went down as power lines in most of the municipalities were damaged.

"In that regard, we are in touch with the NGCP, Boheco 1 (Bohol 1 Electric Cooperative), Boheco 2 and Bohol Light and they are working on restoring their destroyed transmission lines," he said.

The governor said Bohol Light told Capitol that it could restore power in a week.

He said the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines informed him that 200 transmission structures in Bohol were largely damaged, affecting seven tower lines.

Yap also said that Petron Philippines assured him of continued diesel supply in the province. (PNA)