The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) discussed the coordinating mechanisms to bring additional assistance to communities hit by Typhoon “Ursula”. It gathered its Response Cluster on late afternoon of Friday, 03 January 2019, to discuss updates on the ongoing relief assistance and initiatives for further actions.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported that it utilized the air assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and commercial cargo of private partners in the transportation of relief items. To date, a total of PHP 57,432,009.51 worth of food and non-food items pooled from DSWD, DOH, OCD, LGUs, NGOs, and other stakeholders have already been provided to stranded passengers, evacuees, and affected communities.
Three (3) C-130 flights by the AFP and one (1) by PSI AIR 2007, Inc. were utilized by the OCD to deliver 38,215 kg of emergency shelter sheets/tarpaulins, blankets, shelter repair kits, and sakoline. Also, 6,600 sacks of rice, family food packs (FFPs), and non-food items (NFIs) from DSWD, as well as WASH needs and assorted medicines from DOH were delivered to augment stocks in the affected regions.
Should the need arise for additional relief items, DSWD assured a standby fund of Php 500 million, as well as Php 85 million worth of FFPs and Php 605 million worth of standby NFIs. Futher, DSWD is conducting assessment and validation to provide Cash-for-Work assistance to qualified beneficiaries.
Department of Health (DOH) augmented a total of Php 2,612,617.17 worth of medicines, water purification tablets, hygiene kits, jerry cans, and other medical supplies, and provided medical, WASH, and nutrition services to the affected areas.
The BFP, AFP, and PNP assisted in the repacking and distribution of these relief goods and water rationing for evacuees. The AFP, DOTr, and Philippine Coast Guard have also been instrumental in the hauling and transport of these relief items, as well as the prioritization in loading thereof in seaports.
The NDRRMC remains on stand-by to replenish or augment these relief items whenever necessary.
A total of 19,469 families or 77,473 persons were served inside 547 evacuation centers. To date, 6,735 families or 3,581 persons are still staying in 88 evacuation centers. For security measures, police visibility was implemented in the evacuation centers.
Per DepEd, there were 81 schools (or 217 classrooms) that were utilized as evacuation centers; but as of 28 December 2019, all these schools were already decamped or vacated.
To assist learners who were affected by TY Ursula, emergency school feeding, learners’ kits, and clean-up funds were already prepared in time for the resumption of classes. DepEd also mentioned that it is set to give psychosocial first aid for affected learners at the start of classes.
Meanwhile, aid for the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks in the affected areas are being distributed by the Department of Agriculture (DA). At least 3,300 bags of rice certified seeds were distributed in Oriental Mindoro, while 4,540 bags of rice certified seeds and 1,000 onion seeds were given in Occidental Mindoro. DA reported that 8,532 bags of rice seeds, 4,622 bags of corn seeds, 2,343 kilogram of vegetable seeds are ready for distribution to affected farmers in regions VI, VII and VIII.
Affected fisherfolks are also set to receive seaweed seedlings, milkfish culture, oyster rafts, milkfish cages, with fingerlings and structure, 20-footer FRP boats, fishing gear, and paraphernalia. Interventions were also given to poultry and livestock raisers.
In addition to this, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has PhP 60 million available funds under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Program. Also, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has enough funds to pay for the indemnity of all insured farmers and fisherfolks affected by the typhoon. DA also has a proposed rehabilitation plan with a budgetary requirement of PhP 137,991,592.00.
To address challenges in telecommunications, DICT has provided free WiFi service in the affected regions and is continuously working on the restoration of networks in areas still experiencing connectivity issues. Efforts are also being done to restore electricity in areas still experiencing power outages.
To aid in early recovery, the National Housing Authority (NHA), in coordination with its field/regional offices and LGUs, is also working on the validation of affected families that may be extended with housing material assistance (HOMA) worth PhP 30,000.00 for totally damaged houses and PhP 20,000.00 for partially damaged houses.
Typhoon “Ursula” (I.N. Phanfone) entered PAR on 24 December 2019 while the country was still recovering from the effects of Typhoon “Tisoy” and the Northeast Monsoon. It made seven (7) landfalls over the areas of Eastern and Western Visayas, and in Oriental Mindoro before finally exiting the country on 28 December 2019. TY “Ursula” left a trail of devastation in MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII and VIII including infrastructure and agricultural damages, flooding, power outages, connectivity/communication problems, and cancellation of flights and sea travels.