Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday said the reported deaths due to the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Karding” has reached 11, with six others missing.
In its latest situation report, the NDRRMC said of the number of deaths, eight have been confirmed. They include six people in Bulacan (five in San Miguel and one in Baliuag) and one in Zambales.
Carding affected 640,963 individuals or 176,337 families.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) said on Thursday that it has transported relief goods from the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to Dingalan town in Aurora province.
PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the airlifted goods included food packs, medicines, slippers, clothes, boxes of bottled water and milk.
On the other hand, the Philippine Army, along with government personnel and non-government organizations (NGOs), continues to bring aid to far-flung towns hit by the typhoon.
Using Army trucks, the military and Coast Guard personnel also hauled relief goods from NGOs for distribution to families in Polillo Island in Quezon province.
Meanwhile, the telecom companies said they have restored services in many typhoon-stricken areas.
Globe said it restored services in seven provinces stricken by the typhoon, bringing back much-needed connectivity.
As of Tuesday, Globe has reached 100 percent restoration in Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales, and in Rizal and Quezon, including the Polillo Islands. This is on top of the immediate restoration of service in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, restoration efforts are nearly complete in Nueva Ecija, among the worst-hit provinces.
On the other hand, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) said they have brought back 100 percent of their fixed and wireless network sites in Aurora and Bulacan.
PLDT and Smart’s Free Call (free calls), Free Charging (free charging), and Free Wi-Fi (free Wi-Fi) stations continue to operate and provide communication services to affected communities. More sites were opened in different municipalities to help residents connect with their families and loved ones.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said on Thursday that the Department of Agriculture (DA) expects an increase in the retail prices of various products.
“We expect an increase, especially in retail prices of rice and vegetables, as Central Luzon was hard hit by the typhoon. We expect a 15 to 20 percent movement in the retail prices in the markets,” Panganiban said.
“Among those greatly affected were Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan and Quezon. More than 20 percent of the total areas planted were destroyed,” he said.
Based on the daily price monitoring of the DA on Thursday, the retail prices of vegetables have already increased.
The retail price of onion now ranges from P180 to P240 per kilo; string beans, from P90 to P100 per kilo; eggplant, from P80 to P110 per kilo; tomatoes, from P110 to P150 per kilo; ampalaya, from P80 to P120 per kilo; and pechay, from P70 to P100 per kilo.
Regular milled rice was pegged between P36 and P40 per kilo; from P38 to P44 per kilo for well-milled rice; from P45 to P49 per kilo for premium rice; and from P48 to P58 per kilo for special rice.
According to Panganiban, at least 91,944 farmers were affected by Karding.
“We don’t expect a big shortage of rice and paddy next year. At present, we maintain a 60-day buffer stock to support the country’s rice demand for next year,” he said.
He said that based on the projected outlook, the country’s rice supply will last up to 61 days.
Panganiban also assured a steady supply of meat and chicken in the country.
Panganiban said at least P170.34 million worth of rice seeds, P23.1 million worth of corn seeds, and P13.55 million worth of assorted vegetable seeds will be distributed to the affected farmers.
He added that P2.45 million worth of animals, drugs and biologicals are being readied for the livestock and poultry farmers.
According to Panganiban, the affected farmers can avail of the P25,000 loan being offered through the Survival and Recovery loan program from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, which is payable within three years with no interest.
Panganiban said that at least P500 million worth of Quick Response Fund will be available for the rehabilitation of affected areas, as well as the deployment of mobile Kadiwa centers in the areas affected by Karding to stabilize prices and supply of agri-fishery commodities.