Philippines: Typhoon Frank leaves P1.6-B damages in Western Visayas infra, agri

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Iloilo City (26 June) -- The damages caused by cyclone "Frank" to the infrastructure and agriculture in Western Visayas are now placed at P1,606,710,000 according to the Regional Disaster coordinating Council 6 (RDCC 6).

As of 11:30 P.M. of June 24, based on the RDCC 6 consolidated report, the damage to agriculture in the region amounted to P1.087 billion while in infrastructure P519.71 million.

Among the 6 provinces in the region, Iloilo was badly hit in agriculture having P612 million in damages, followed by Capiz with P229.5 million, Antique P116.4 million, Aklan P88.4 million, Guimaras P26.1 million and Negros Occidental P 8 million. The city of Iloilo has also incurred P7 million worth of damages in its agriculture.

In infrastructure, the reported damage in the province of Aklan has now reached P325 million, Antique, P120 million, Capiz P34.225 million, Iloilo P20.98 million and Iloilo City P19.5 million.

The same report indicated that casualties rose to 257 while missing persons, 220 and injured, 302.

Around 337,425 families are affected composed of 1,590,196 persons in some 2,219 barangays and prompted the evacuation of 52,403 families in 643 evacuation centers in the different areas of the region.

Also, RDCC 6 reported that the National Food Authority (NFA) has already released 4,350 sacks of rice as augmentation of relief operations from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

The rice have been released to the provincial disaster coordinating councils (PDCC) of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo, the Iloilo City Coordinating Council and the 5 congressional districts of Iloilo.

Iloilo PDCC got the largest volume of rice at 1,000 sacks, followed by PDCCs of Aklan, Antique, Capiz with 500 sacks each. The 2nd and 3rd congressional districts of Iloilo were also granted with 500 sacks each, Iloilo DCC with 250 sacks and the 1st, 4th and 5th districts of Iloilo with 200 sacks.

In her third videoconference with her Cabinet members and the NDCC from the United States this morning, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the Department of Agriculture and the NFA to flood with rice all areas affected by cyclone Frank and to apprehend rice dealers over pricing and taking advantage of the situation. (PIA)