Duterte to visit Cordillera today

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the Cordillera Autonomous Region today which is worst-hit by Typhoon Ompong.

Duterte will meet with families of the at least 54 dead and 42 still missing victims of Ompong in the Benguet Provincial Capitol noontime today.

He will then be briefed of the latest situation in the ground.

Typhoon Ompong left 54 dead, 42 missing and 32 injured as it lashed provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CRDRRMC) said Sunday.

In a press briefing, Cordillera Interior and Local Government Regional Director Marlo Iringan, who heads the CRDRRMC’s committee on management of the dead and the missing, said the deaths were recorded in Itogon, Benguet, 34; Baguio City, nine; Bontoc Mountain Province, six; La Trinidad, Benguet, three; Tuba, Benguet, one; and Pasil, Kalinga, one.

Of the 42 missing persons, 36 are in Itogon.

Majority of the dead and missing in Itogon town were in Barangay Ucab and Loakan, where massive landslides happened.

CDRRMC chairman and Office of the Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD) Regional Director Ruben Carandang said all DRRMCs in the region remain on red alert.

This is also considering the saturated soil in the region, which poses a high possibility of landslides.

He added that Baguio City, Benguet and other parts of the region experienced a rainfall of over 1,600 millimeters (mm) in August, exceeding the average rainfall amounting to over 600 millimeters for the said month.

The average rainfall of September is 550 mm but on Saturday alone, 760 mm of rainfall poured over these areas and drenched and already saturated soil, causing several landslides, flooding in some areas and swelling of the river.

Reports from the other provinces have yet to be received as power, internet and other communication networks are being reinstated.

Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who is also the Regional Development Council and Peace and Order Council chairman, assured that government agencies are consolidating their efforts in response to the situation.

Aside from responding to the needs of those affected, continuous search, rescue and retrieval operations will be conducted, particularly in Itogon where scores of people are missing and believed to be buried in a landslide.

Brig. Gen. Leopoldo Imbang, chief of the Army’s 503rd Brigade who heads the search, rescue and retrieval committee of the CDRRMC, said joint personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), local emergency DRRM council members and volunteers, private rescue groups including miners will continue to help each other dig in the tons of mud that fell from the mountain.

He said they will resume operations on Monday morning.

“We have halted the operation tonight due to the darkness. The operation will be difficult considering the unstable area and volume of the debris but with high spirit and sense of coordination, we are optimistic that we will still rescue survivors,” Imbang said.

Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso said residents have been forewarned and were urged to pre-emptively evacuate but it was unfortunate that there have been victims.

DSWD-Cordillera Regional Director Janet Armas said aside from the food and non-food items being distributed to the 5,321 who are still in the evacuation centers all over the region, they are also assisting those who have evacuated from their houses and moved to relatives’ houses for safety.

This is aside from the burial assistance their office is giving to the families of those who perished due to Typhoon Ompong; and the financial assistance that the local government will be giving the families.

Dr. Amelita Pangilinan added that the Department of Health is ensuring that they are monitoring possible communicable diseases, to assure the safety of those in evacuation centers. They are also distributing water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to the evacuees.

Angie Mabitasan of the DPWH-Cordillera said Naguilian road leading to Baguio city is open to all types of vehicles while Marcos Highway was also opened at 9 p.m. Sunday.

She said there are numerous roads destroyed and there are some that were washed-out and will take time to be opened.

“We are assuring the public that we are doing our best to open the roads to allow goods, services and people to move,” Mabitasan said. (PNA)



Grab lends rubber boats to Marikina, MMDA for rescue efforts

Grab Philippines has lent two rubber rafts to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government of Marikina City respectively, in preparation for any rescue missions related to typhoon Ompong.

“The rubber rafts are only stored in the warehouse originally for the emergency use of employees and TNVS partners. But we decided to lend it to the government to help more people,” Grab Philippines Country Head said.

”At a time like this, we all need to lend a helping hand to one another and make sure that everyone is brought to safety,” Cu added.

Grab plans to procure another 2-3 rubber boats soon, to aid in more rescue missions in the future.


Camp Merecido, Catitipan, Davao City- Effective this morning, September 13,2018, Chief PNP, PDG Oscar Albayalde has declared full alert status nationwide to prepare for the possible effects of Typhoon Ompong.

Ompong is expected to lash large swaths of the country with intense rains and fierce winds that will hit Northern and Southern Luzon tomorrow and on Saturday , according to PAGASA.

Although the said typhoon will not directly hit in Davao Region, still, PCSUPT Marcelo Morales Regional Director Police Regional Office 11 called an emergency conference yesterday attended by the Command and Directorial staff, Provincial and City Directors, Force Commander of RMFB 11 and the Chiefs of the National Support Units. It has activated its Incident Management Task Group, an updated and enhanced pro-active plan of action of the PNP on disaster preparedness and response management in support to other concerned agencies.

Oplan “Saklolo” prescribes the support strategy, operational concept, and scheme of implementation to accomplish the PNP’s support mission in times of disaster and calamity situations. More so, disaster response troops, equipment and supplies are pre positioned especially in areas that are expected to experience heavy rains brought by the said Typhoon.

According to PCSUPT Marcelo Morales Regional Director, PRO 11 supports the government’s disaster risk reduction and management efforts in accordance with the PNP Critical Incident Management Operational Procedures. We have on standby fifty (50) personnel from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion RMFB 11 and Medical Responders composed of doctors and nurses ready to be deployed anytime to affected areas in Northern and Southern Luzon and some part of Visayas Region.

Further, PCSupt Morales, has directed all PNP Commanders in the region to conduct preparation to ensure the readiness of the police force during calamity and disaster. Morales also ensures that equipment such as Rubber Boats, Life Vests, and other Search, Rescue and Retrieval Operations Equipment are serviceable.

While we are checking this equipment, individual equipment must also be check like personal clothing, foods and water, medicine, flashlights, whistles and toiletries.

We will be setting Emergency Communication System; portable generators and handheld radios are neccessary to prepare as cell sites and other telecommunications might be affected.

Despite this all, we will not down grade our alert level on security operations as criminals and terrorists might take advantage of this opportune time. We will continue our efforts in the maintenace of peace and order, prevent and control crimes of looting, robbery and other similar crimes.

“I have my men instructed to coordinate closely other government agencies and with CDRRMC and their Local government units for possible enforcement of forced evacuation in high-risk communities if heavy rain may arise. We are also appealing to our people in the affected areas to cooperate with their local police, to stay safe, prepared, alert and informed and heed the orders of the authorities particularly on preemptive evacuation that might be enforced because after all, we are after for everyone’s safety. Your police in Region 11 will be there where we are needed most and together we will weather the storm,” he ended.