TUGUEGARAO CITY – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday ordered immediate help for 28,666 families affected by Super Typhoon Egay in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) after learning that it sustained PHP 774.24 million in agri-fishery damage.
The President, who led a briefing, aerial inspection and distribution of assistance to an initial 300 beneficiaries, noted that highest among those damaged by the typhoon was Cagayan province at PHP419.59-million.
Isabela reported PHP 226.06 million in damage; Nueva Vizcaya, PHP111.14 million; and Quirino, PHP17.45 million.
Batanes has no available data yet.
Marcos ordered the distribution of potable water, food and non-food packs to the typhoon victims.
"Tubig ang isa sa mga napaka-importante (Water is one of the most important)," he said,
Marcos also ordered immediate power restoration after noting that 16 villages here have no power yet due to fallen electric posts and destroyed cables.
"Pabilisin na ang pagsasaayos nito at kung kinakailangan 24/7, para magka-ilaw agad (Let us fast-track the repair and if needed on a 24/7 basis so that the power will be immediately restored)," he said.
Due to heavy rains and massive floodings, the calamity affected 250 villages in four provinces, displacing more than 14,000 people.
The regional offices of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Public Works and Highways reported losses of PHP340 million and PHP1.15 billion, respectively.
Marcos Jr. sought the distribution of rice seeds and corn seeds in Cagayan Valley to make up for the massive agricultural damage.
“We can provide binhi (seeds). Puwedeng magbigay ng binhi sa palay, sa mais, sa (rice seeds, corn seeds and even for) high-value crops,” said Marcos, who also serves as Agriculture secretary.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba briefed Marcos that the estimated cost of damage for rice is P41,730,106.77; PHP327,241,696.49 for corn; and PHP123,272,550 for high-value crops.
Kalinga Governor James Edubba reported that agriculture is also their most affected sector, with damage costs at PHP27,053,262 for rice and PHP32,531,376 for corn.
Marcos likewise bared his plan to import rice from India to boost the supply of the staple food, in preparation for the possible effects of El Niño in the country.
“I’m thinking about the national supply for rice,” he said. “Everybody is preparing for El Niño, lahat ng nasa (all of countries from) Southeast Asia. Sabay-sabay nagbibilihan kaya ninenerbiyos ako kahit na mag-import tayo (I’m worried despite the fact that we are importing rice). So, that’s the problem that I see.”
The President visited Ilocos Norte and Abra prior to Cagayan. (PNA)