RESCUERS worked with bare hands and shovels to try to free 23 people trapped under earth and rubble on Wednesday, after Typhoon Rosita (international name Yutu) dumped heavy rains on the northern mountainous region, triggering floods and deadly landslides, Reuters reported.
Apart from determining the death toll in the wake of Rosita, which left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday, the government has also reported more than P100 million in damage to agricultural crops.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), 99.82% of the damage was attributed to rice, at P112.01 million affecting 7,429 hectares and 4,917 farmers in Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Aurora, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Zambales.
Damage to 19 hectares of high value crops such as cabbage, broccoli, potato, tomato, garden pea, bell pepper, lettuce, carrot and snap beans amounted a production loss volume of 4 metric tons valued at P199,079.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement on Wednesday, “The President has directed all government agencies to immediately respond and undertake measures to help the victims and families and to rehabilitate the typhoon ravaged areas, including the clearing and repairing of roads that have become inaccessible or impassable.”
He added, “Efforts to look for survivors are currently ongoing and we pray for the rescue of those still trapped or missing.”
President Rodrigo R. Duterte will visit the affected areas soon, accompanied by his Cabinet, Mr. Panelo said.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), for its part, has released P662.5 million to cover the needs of those affected by typhoon Rosita.
The funds were released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which will deliver family food packs, relief supplies, cash or food-for-work programs, as well as provide shelter assistance.
Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the fund release will also be for the “forthcoming typhoons that may enter the PAR in the last two remaining months of the year.” — reports by Reuters, Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio, Gillian M. Cortez, and Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan