The Philippine National Police (PNP) has stopped releasing updates of the casualties of typhoon “Odette” following a big discrepancy on the death toll it has been reporting compared to the data of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
As of Tuesday, Dec. 21, the PNP reported reported in its 6 a.m. update that there were a total of 375 individuals who died as a result of “Odette” onslaught.
OCD data, however, reported receiving reports of 156 people who died, only nine of them are confirmed to be typhoon-related so far while the rest are subject for validation.
The PNP data reported 56 missing persons while the OCD reported there were only 36. On the other hand, there were 515 injured persons in the PNP data while only 257 in the OCD data.
Based on the protocol, the PNP data were based on the reports of the police stations which are then collated at the Police Regional Offices before they are submitted to the National Headquarters at Camp Crame.
The PNP has three updates every day, one at 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m.
Noticeably, the death toll and other casualty figures in the PNP started to balloon when its Information Technology (IT) experts were able to restore the communication lines with the town and city police forces that were severely battered by typhoon “Odette” on Sunday.
It was then that all the typhoon-related information were relayed to the Camp Crame, including the people who were reported dead, missing and injured.
PNP spokesperson Rhoderick Augustus Alba said that the data that they have been releasing to the media were indeed based on the reports coming from police stations during and after the onslaught of “Odette.”
“The incidents are recorded in the Police Blotter of the PNP Unit and further documented and investigated. The reported casualties are submitted to Office of Civil Defense and these are subject to validation,” said Alba.
“All PNP Units handling these data exercise due diligence and care to preclude possibilities of redundant or omitted entry that may compromise the accuracy of information,” he stressed.