Gov Marcos asks for assistance from Pres Duterte after vast damage wrought by Typhoon Ompong
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos yesterday briefed President Rodrigo R. Duterte on the massive destruction left by Typhoon “Ompong” (International Name: “Mangkhut”) yesterday, a day after very strong winds and heavy rains slammed the entire province.
The President also witnessed the heavy damage sustained by the province as he flew to Laoag City from Tuguegarao, where he was met at the Capitol by the governor.
Governor Marcos reported to the President that she is “thankful for the miracle that there was no casualty in the province, though the damage to agriculture and infrastructure is extensive.”
She attributed the zero casualty to preemptive evacuation that many said was exaggerated but she deemed necessary as many Ilocanos are, “Pasaway na ayaw iwan ang bahay at ari-arian,” adding that, “may mga mangingisda pang kinailangan pwersahin at hulihin ng mga pulis at sundalo para mag-evacuate.”
Governor Marcos proposed to the President to allow the 14,000 evacuees to work in rebuilding the damaged infrastructures to earn for their food and repair of their houses, stressing that her province mates are not used to queuing for relief goods.
Four teams of doctors and medical staff have been formed to check on the health of evacuees, while classes remain suspended as of Monday.
The governor sadly told President Duterte, “Nakakalugmok yung damage sa agricultural sector, namuti lahat ng palay namin, dapang-dapa,” damage that according to her could easily reach P1.9 Billion.
She requested the President that farmers need agricultural seeds especially the early-maturing avanta, and assistance on irrigation and livestock like free-range chickens, ducks, piglets, sheep, and fisheries equipment and stricter guarding against poaching, while new seedlings need to be planted on mountain sides.
The President promised the lady governor that he will talk to the head of the Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to help farmers, while Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who was present at the meeting together with other cabinet members, promised he would ask the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) to return in a few days with concrete assistance to farmers in Ilocos Norte, Cagayan and other provinces devastated by the typhoon.
Piñol said that the ACPC could arrange a P25,000 collateral-free loan that farmers can avail.
Piñol also suggested that hard-hit areas like Ilocos Norte be given a bigger share from forthcoming rice imports, to which the President agreed.
Governor Marcos also reported to the President that infrastructures in both districts of Ilocos Norte sustained heavy damage and there is a need to restore the public works allocation for the province, which the national government cut last year.
The governor also reported to the President that hotels and resorts in Pagudpud, Bangui, Currimao and Burgos were damaged and its owners can also use soft loans, similar to that offered to farmers, so they can reopen as soon as repairs are completed.