Four personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways Ifugao 2nd District Engineering Office Quick Response Team were killed in a landslide triggered by typhoon “Ulysses” last Thursday in Sitio Nabito, Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said the bodies of two workers – driver Joel Chur-ig and laborer John Duclog – were retrieved while two engineers are still missing.
DPWH search, rescue, and retrieval operations, together with the Ifugao Provincial Mobile Force Company, Philippine National Police Banaue, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Bureau of Fire Protection, Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, 54th Infantry Brigade, and other volunteers are exerting all efforts to locate the two missing engineers – John Limoh and Julius Gulayan.
The DPWH said another member of the team, laborer Jacob Guinyang, was unscathed since he was on the other side of road after checking their equipment and buying some food.
Villar said the five-man team moved from the Banaue Satellite Office at around 2 p.m. after verifying reports of numerous landslides on the Nueva Vizcaya-Ifugao-Mountain Province Road.
Upon reaching the site, a heavy downpour at around 5:40 p.m. forced the team to seek refuge in a house but a landslide rolled down the mountain and pushed the house down the slope.
Villar said these people, true to their sworn commitment to the service, will be remembered for the selfless deeds and valor exemplified in the line of duty.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to our personnel who bravely served our country and paid the ultimate price. We will extend all efforts to look for the missing and support the families of the victims. Let us pray that those missing will be found,” he said.
The DPWH chief emphasized the importance of having sound safety practices in all phases of the planning and execution of disaster response operations.
“This is to ensure that there will never be another casualty from our men on the grounds who are risking their lives immediately after the weather stabilizes in performing their duties to help our ‘kababayans,’” said Villar.