By Freddie Velez
MALOLOS – The province of Bulacan is now placed under a state of calamity due to massive flooding brought about by a southwest monsoon enhanced by different tropical cyclones since July 19, 2018.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bulacan, through the initiatives of Board Members Felix Ople and Therese Cheryll Ople, passed Resolution Number 353-T’18 placing the province of Bulacan under the a state of calamity due to the damaging effects of flood on agriculture, livelihood, and infrastructure.
The declaration was inked following the request of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) headed by its chairman, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, during the Emergency and Third Quarter Meeting of PDRRMC last August 13 at the PDRRMO Training Room in this city.
Based on PDRRMC Resolution No. 1 series 2018, cities and towns in the province suffered heavy rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Henry last July 15 – 24, Tropical Storm Inday last July 17 – 24 and Tropical Depression Josie last July 20 –23 that enhanced the southwest monsoon.
The damage to the province was worsened by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding and high tide last August 11-13, 2018.
According to the Damage Assessment Report of the members and representatives of the council and other partner agencies from different government and private agencies, 129,886 families or 624,930 individuals were affected by the said calamity wherein as of presstime 1,678 families were temporarily sheltered in the 32 evacuation centers located in the 12 municipalities including Cities of Malolos and Meycauayan, Bulakan, Bocaue, Balagtas, Baliwag, Bustos, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Paombong, and Plaridel.
It was also reported that there were P46,000,000 damages to primary and secondary roads in the province while 1,567 hectares of farm land and 1,901 hectares of fish pond were also damaged. This could increase in the coming days because of continuous rains in the province.
About 100 cooperatives and 70 Small and Medium Enterprises from Bocaue, Marilao, Balagtas and City of Meycauayan were also affected by the said calamity.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Health Office-Public Health distributed 46,500 capsules of Doxycycline and ointment for leptospirosis in the 14 municipalities including the cities of Malolos, Meycauayan, Bocaue, Bulakan, Bustos, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong, Plaridel, Pandi, San Rafael, Pulilan, Marilao, and Obando.
Alvarado said that the declaration will help them address the situation through the immediate release of funds needed for relief operation, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other rescue measures.
Based on Situation Report No. 6 of PDRRMC that was released last August 13 at 6 pm, the cities of Malolos and Meycauayan and 12 towns including Balagtas, Baliwag, Bocaue, Bustos, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Paombong, Plaridel, Santa Maria, Marilao and Obando were submerged in floodwaters.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office continues to distribute relief goods.
The PDRRMC has intensifies its conduct of massive Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis or DANA for rehabilitation.
A state of calamity has also been declared in the City of Meycauayan and four towns of Bulacan including Hagonoy, Paombong, Marilao, and Calumpit.
“Nag-dispatch po tayo ng PDRRMC truck sa mga bayan ng Marilao, Bocaue, at Balagtas para sa libreng sakay sa lahat na mga nai-stranded kahapon, gayundin ang patuloy na pagmo-monitor ng mga sitwasyon partikular na sa pagre-release ng tubig sa mga dam, pagpapaigting ng koordinasyon para sa mas maayos na komunikasyon at aksyon.” Alvarado said.