BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday issued an executive order placing Negros Occidental under a state of calamity, which is expected to be approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its regular session on December 21.
The Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council also chaired by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson unanimously passed a resolution declaring Negros Occidental a state of calamity.
Based on the rapid assessment of the PDRRMC, the province incurred damages amounting to P5,982,947,301.65, Lacson, who presided over the council meeting at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City, said.
In his issued Executive Order 21-59, series of 2021, Lacson also said 38 persons also died, 3,764 houses were destroyed and 16,477 partially damaged.
He also pointed out that the agricultural sector suffered the biggest loss at P4.4 billion and the rest are in livestock, infrastructure which includes school buildings and hospitals.
Lacson said that the declaration will allow local government units to utilize their respective calamity funds.
However, he said part of their calamity fund has been already been used as their COVID-19 response.
He added that under the province’ quick response funds only P15 million is left.
“We will look for other sources of funds especially from the savings that we can use,” he said.
In asking the SP to immediately convene and adopt the PDRRMC resolution, Lacson said the SP is implored to provide in the resolution that a portion of calamity funds be released to extend immediate assistance to Typhoon victims.
He also recommended a price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities in Negros Occidental to curb predatory pricing by businesses and hoarding of goods.
Aside from 38 deaths, 36 others were also injured and there are 14 missing as of December 20, PDRRMC report added.
There are also 181,110 displaced persons.*