Ompong could be next super typhoon in PHL by Wednesday

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TYPHOON MANGKHUT, which was still outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) as of Monday, could develop into a super typhoon and be in the country by Wednesday, Sept. 12, according to weather bureau PAGASA.

It will be given the local name Ompong, the next in the 2018 designated alphabetical list.

Tropical cyclone Neneng entered PAR Monday and is expected to be out by today.

Neneng was forecasted to bring occasional rains with gusty winds in Batanes, where typhoon signal #1 was raised, as well as moderate to occasionally heavy rains over the Babuyan Islands, and scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

Mangkhut is also forecasted to make landfall in Batanes. Based on its track, it could bring heavy rains with strong winds in Luzon as well as some parts of Mindanao, including Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) and Region 13 (Caraga).


Malacañang on Monday advised the public to prepare for the super typhoon and cooperate with evacuation procedures.

Maging handa, mag handa ng tubig at de lata. Mga naninirahan malapit sa karagatatan tingnan na po natin kung kelan tayo lilipat (Be ready, prepare drinking water and canned goods. Those living in coastal areas, be aware when evacuation is necessary),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a Palace briefing.

He also assured that the “DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) is ready to provide humanitarian assistance.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced yesterday that it released P662.5 million last week to the DSWD to augment its funds for the Disaster and Response Management Program.

DBM said the amount will accrue to DSWD’s Quick Response Fund (QRF), which is a stand-by pool to cover relief and rehabilitation in case of calamities.

This is on top of the QRF’s current P103.6-million balance.

“According to the DSWD request for fund release, the P662.5 million allotment will be used for the purchase of family food packs, for the conduct of Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) programs (i.e. purchase of relief supplies, cash or food-for work programs, shelter assistance), for administrative and operational expense, and for a standby fund for disaster augmentation,” the DBM said in a statement.

The DSWD is currently implementing social projects related to the Marawi City Rehabilitation and Recovery program that includes basic transitory family support needs.

In a related development, the World Bank has flagged possible human displacement risks on flood management projects in Metro Manila.

“The main identified risk relates to safeguards, in particular social ones. Based on the assessment of the safeguards team, there are some risks related to resettlement as the activities in the river system, when implemented, will likely have some displacement, either temporary or permanently,” the World Bank said in an implementation status and results report of the Metro Manila Flood Control project.

The world bank rated the project’s overall risk as “moderate.”

“Although the major risks will be during actual resettlement, some people may feel that they have not been informed properly or that their voices may not be heard during the preparation studies,” the multilateral lender said.

“To mitigate such risk, regular communication and consultations with people in the project areas and with other key stakeholders will be very important,” it added.

The World Bank has provided a $2.73-million technical grant for the “Preparation of a Program Towards Sustainable Flood Management in the Greater Metro Manila Area” to prepare priority projects identified by the flood management master plan, that aim to improve flood management and resilience in and around the country’s capital region.

It said that it is helping the Department of Public Works and Highways to prepare the feasibility study and subsequently the design of the selected option for flood management improvement in the Marikina flood plain.

The World Bank is also co-financing the $500-million flood control management project with the Asian Infrastructure Bank with $206.603 million each, and the government covering $84.794 million balance.

The project will modernize about 36 existing pumping stations and construct 20 new ones, strengthen upstream waste catchment areas, and housing resettlement.

The project seeks to manage major flood events while reducing the flooding from river systems that run through the metropolis by building a dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area.

The project was approved by the previous administration in 2012, following tropical storm Ondoy that cost about 2.7% of the country’s economy in 2009. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan and Arjay L. Balinbin