LAOAG CITY – Less than a week after Typhoon “Ompong” battered Ilocos Norte, Governor Imee R. Marcos together with frontline offices of the Provincial Government have been distributing relief packs to hard-hit barangays and gathering requests for assistance to be forwarded to national agencies.
On Tuesday, the governor personally visited and distributed goods to the residents of Brgys. Mabaleng and Colo in Batac City, San Miguel in Sarrat, Sta. Maria and San Antonio in Piddig, and Baresbes in Dingras.
Accompanying her were Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Mrs. Lilian Rin; Mr. Edwin Cariño, head of the Sustainable Development Center (SDC); and staff of the Resiliency Office and the Office of Barangay Affairs (OBA).
On Wednesday, the team checked on Brgy. San Lorenzo, Bangui; Sta. Matilde, Pasuquin; Isic-Isic, Vintar; Uguis, Nueva Era; and Calayab, Laoag City.
Ms. Trisha C. Aceret, Miss Ilocos Norte 2018 and the province’s contingent to the Miss Millennial Pageant under television variety show Eat Bulaga, also joined the relief operations.
“Ito yata ang pinakamahaba na bagyo. Talaga namang nakakanerbyos, at hindi na umalis. Nagustuhan yata [ng bagyo] at nag-sightseeing pa dito sa windmills, sa Bangui, at umikot pa – kumain pa yata ng empanada… Nagtambay sa Ilocos, kay tagal-tagal,” Governor Marcos quipped. “Ang total, 17 hours ang bagyo, halos isang buong araw, at ang maganda lang, zero casualty tayo.”
She congratulated barangay officials and other local leaders on helping the province to achieve zero casualty through implementing pre-emptive evacuation days before “Ompong” made landfall. Nevertheless, she acknowledged the severe damage in agriculture and its impact on the lives of her constituents.
Over P1.9 billion of losses in agriculture have been recorded, with 9,000 hectares of rice fields totally damaged.
Hence, the governor instructed residents to forward any requests for seeds and other inputs to their respective municipal or city agriculturist, suggesting, “Kung mayroon kayong irigasyon, baka makapagtanim pa ng early-maturing palay. Kung hindi [palay], mayroong mais, gulay – mga pechay, kalabasa, sitaw, patola, sigarilyas – tignan natin at baka pwede, at kung talagang wala, kangkong na lang.
“Pwede ring kaming mamigay ng manok, basta alagaan ninyo. Gagawin natin ang lahat – mamimigay ng biik, at kung mayroon kayong lugar para sa tilapia, magbibigay din kami ng tilapia at aqua feeds. Magpalista na kayo sa agriculture officer para maibigay sa akin at maipadala ko – next week, darating na ‘yan.”
In addition, the Provincial Government has already begun coordinating with national agencies for cash-for-work programs. Cash assistance of at least P10,000.00 will also be given to those whose homes were partially and totally damaged by the typhoon, as forwarded to the respective social welfare and development officers.
Mr. Javier A. Eda, chairman of Brgy. San Matilde, Pasuquin, said that he and his barangay are confident in what the governor has promised, “Namnamaenmi ta kastoy isuna: no ibagana ket ipatungpalna.” (Inaasahan namin dahil ganito siya: kapag sinabi niya, ipapatupad niya.)
Likewise, Mr. Elmer Faylogna, federated president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in Ilocos Norte, commented, “Talagang ‘action agad’ ang ginagawa ng gobernador natin tuwing may kalamidad.” – (PGIN-CMO)