By Francis Wakefield
The Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division and its subordinate units continue to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations (HADRO) since Typhoon Josie entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility last July 22.
In a statement, the 7th ID said a total of 39 Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) teams were formed to respond to the needs of thousands of people affected by heavy flooding.
The 7th ID said that they were able to assist a total of 10,156 families from Regions 1 and 3.
Some municipalities under the Area of Responsibility of the 7th ID that were hard hit by the storm and Southwest Monsoon were placed under the State of Calamit. The areas are Ramos, Lapaz and Camiling, all of Tarlac; Marilao and Paombong in Bulacan; Masantol in Pampanga; Licab in Nueva Ecija; and the whole provinces of Pangasinan and Bataan.
Four casualties were retrieved: two died of drowning in Pangasinan, while the other two died during a landslide caused by the typhoon in La Union.
Major General Felimon T. Santos Jr., the commander of the 7th Infantry Division, personally met with the Regional Directors of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Regions 1 and 3 where he coordinated the relief and rescue operations of the 7th ID units with the OCD.
Santos commended the Kaugnay DRO teams for their swift and skilled response.
He also assured the public that the 7th ID will remain ready for whatever disaster the rainy season might bring.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier said that damages to infrastructure and agriculture due to the effects of the Southwest Monsoon or “Habagat” enhanced by Tropical Cyclones “Henry” “Inday” and “Josie” has now reached more than P1.3 billion.
Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, the Executive Director of the NDRRMC and concurrent Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), said that base on the latest figure they have received, a total of P1, 377,090,104.90 worth of damages to infrastructure and agriculture were reported in Regions I, II, III,CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), VI and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).
He said of the figure, P480, 369,000 million worth of infrastructures were damage while P896, 721,105.00 worth of agricultural products were destroyed.
He said a total of P24, 872,076.48 worth of assistance was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and Local Government Units (LGUs) to the affected families of Regions I, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, VI, NCR and CAR.
The NDRRMC said they have so far confirmed the death of nine people due to the effects of the Southwest Monsoon enhanced by the recent tropical cyclones.