President Duterte has placed the entire Luzon area under a state of calamity as recommended by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), following the successive strikes by Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoons Quinta and Ulysses.
The President received the NDRRMC recommendation Tuesday and promptly acted on iy after a careful study. Aside from devastating strong winds, the typhoons also brought heavy rains that submerged many Luzon areas in deep flood waters.
A declaration of a state of calamity hastens rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of both the government and the private sector, as well as international humanitarian aid. It also empowers concerned agencies to control the prices of basic goods and commodities in affected areas.
Typhoon Quinta, which made a landfall on October 25 left P1.56 billion worth of damage to agriculture and P2.66 billion to infrastructure. Super Typhoon Rolly sunsequently left another P12.9 billion and P5-billion worth of damages to infrastructure and agriculture, respectively.
Typhoons Siony and Tonyo which struck earlier, did not cause significant damage, but Typhoon Ulysses, which made its first landfall in Catanduanes on November 11 was even more devastating than “Quinta” and “Rolly.”
Typhoon Ulysses, the latest to strike, left P2.1 billion and P483 million worth of damages to agriculture and infrastructure, respectively.
Over the weekend, President Duterte created a task force to implement immediate initiatives for rehabilitation and recovery of typhoon-hit areas outside of the bureaucratic framework. It will be headed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
The task force members include key representatives from the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Budget and Management, Agriculture and Social Welfare and Development; and National Irrigation Administration, National Electrification Administration, and National Housing Authority, among others.