NEEDING REPLACEMENT. The Paliwan and Oyungan bridges in Bugasong, Antique and Miagao, Iloilo are the two major infrastructure projects damaged by the Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in Western Visayas according to the Department of Public Works and Highways. The DPWH during an emergency meeting called by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Thursday (Nov.3, 2022) reported that the damage due to Paeng and the estimated cost of infrastructure repair reached over PHP1.7 billion. (Photo screengrab from virtual meeting)

ILOILO CITY – Two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will sail to Western Visayas from Manila to bring 10,000 family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and around 85 tons of relief goods for victims of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng last week.

Coast Guard District Western Visayas Chief of Staff Commander Jansen Benjamin, during the emergency meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) on Thursday, said BRP Romblon loaded with relief goods will proceed to Capiz while BRP Melchora Aquino will dock in Iloilo City.

The vessels were set to sail on Thursday.

DSWD Undersecretary Allan Tanjusay during his visit to Antique on Wednesday announced they will send more food packs to the region and cash assistance as the number of displaced residents continues to climb.

During the RDRRMC meeting, the DSWD regional office reported that over PHP35 million worth of food, non-food, and cash assistance have been released to affected families.

Meanwhile, Paeng has left 42 casualties in the region, with 33 confirmed deaths and nine missing as of 10 a.m. Thursday as recorded by the RDRRMC management of the dead and missing cluster chaired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG DRRM focal person Danilo Pedrajas Jr., in his presentation, said eight of those who died were from Iloilo, 11 from Antique, seven each from Aklan and Capiz.

“The causes of deaths based on PNP (Philippine National Police) reports submitted, most of our victims have been found to have been drowned, swept by strong current of water, flash flood, landslide, hypothermia, difficulty of breathing, and electrocution,” he said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways reported damage to roads and bridges.

Estimated cost of repair, including for the two major infrastructures destroyed –the Paliwan Bridge in Barangay Cubay North, Bugasong connecting the town of Bugasong and Laua-an in Antique and the Oyungan Bridge in Miagao, Iloilo, reached over PHP1.7 billion.

Oliver Zamora, officer-in-charge of the DPWH Maintenance Division, said the cost of construction of the new Paliwan Bridge will be over PHP355.8 million and will take 515 days.

There is a need to build a new one since it has served the province for around 50 years, Zamora said.

“For Oyungan bridge we need PHP132 million. This will take 250 calendar days. We will be constructing 120 lineal meters four-span prestressed concrete girder bridge on board pile protection, including slope protection works. As of now a detour is being provided and they will be installing a 45 lineal meters bailey bridge,” he added.

Department of Agriculture DRRM focal person Jimmy Eledia Jr said agriculture losses were at PHP394. 243 million with the rice commodity comprising 94 percent followed by high-value crops, vegetables, fruit-bearing trees, sugarcane, and livestock and poultry.

“Reports are still coming in and we are still consolidating the reports consolidated by the provincial agriculturists,” he said.

The fishery sector has incurred PHP379 million in damage, affecting 6, 294 fisherfolk based on a report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. (PNA)