January 24, 2024
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — The province of Davao de Oro has been placed under a state of calamity due to the massive destruction wrought on its communities by heavy rains brought about by the shear line last week.
Nearly 200,000 people in the province were affected by floods and landslides in four days of continuous rains, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.
At least 600,000 people had been affected by the floods that also inundated communities and farms, and damaged numerous roads and bridges in the Davao region.
The region is composed of the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental; and the independent highly urbanized Davao City.
The neighboring Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental are bearing the heavy brunt of the shear line that dumped heavy rains on Mindanao’s eastern seaboard last week.
Davao de Oro’s calamity declaration was approved last Saturday by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Vice Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy, upon recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) chaired by Gov. Dorothy Gonzaga.
The PDRRMC noted that a rapid damage assessment counted 51,140 families, or 182,653 persons, were affected throughout the province. More than P130 million in agricultural production of about 3,700 crop and fish farmers were lost to floods and landslides that damaged 5,000 hectares of fields.
Gonzaga said the estimate of damage could go up as reports from the municipalities flow in.
Davao de Oro province recorded 12 dead, 11 of them from the landslide that occurred in Mt. Diwata, Monkayo town, and another one in Maragusan town.
Joseph Randy Loy, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer, said the calamity declaration paves the way for the release of funds needed to assist those who were affected.
In Davao Oriental, the PDRRMC on Tuesday recommended a calamity declaration throughout the province to also free up its quick response funds to attend to the havoc wrought by heavy rains in its communities and allow the imposition of price control on basic commodities.
Some 63,377 families in Davao Oriental were affected by the floods and landslides that damaged many roads and bridges, as well as flood control dikes.
Power still out
A rapid assessment estimated that some P112.21 million in agricultural production was lost; about P160,000 in livestock, P106.44 million in crops and P5.61 million in fisheries.
As of Tuesday, several communities are still cut off from the local power distribution system as the lines are still being repaired in portions of Governor Generoso, San Isidro, Lupon, Tarragona, Caraga, Manay and Cateel towns, and in Mati City.
Gov. Niño Sotero Uy said he expects approval of the calamity declaration by provincial legislators who will meet on Wednesday.
A state of calamity had already been declared by the municipal governments of Caraga, Tarragona, Cateel, Governor Generoso and Lupon.
The death toll from the recent landslides and flooding in the Davao region rose to 16 as two more persons were reported to have died in Mati City, Davao Oriental, and another one in Don Marcelino town of Davao Occidental.
According to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), the number of people affected by floods and landslides in the Davao region rose further to 606,483 (or 134,879 families), as local government units continued their assessment, taking into account those areas that were difficult to reach.
Of those affected, a total of 3,495 families, or 12,725 persons, are still staying in evacuation centers.
Initially, the OCD placed at P68.09 million the estimated damage to agriculture in the region and at P26.87 million the damage to infrastructure.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development and local governments have given out some P49.58 million in assistance to affected communities.