‘Ompong’ deaths in the Cordilleras climb to 110; missing 25
Marje Pelayo • September 26, 2018 • 3488
Retrieval operations at the landslide site in Itogon, Benguet
BENGUET, Philippines – Authorities are pushing very hard to complete as soon as possible the retrieval of the remaining bodies under the rubble of the landslide that struck Barangay Ucab in the town of Itogon, Benguet.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has announced that it is already impossible to see signs of life under the rubble at this point after 11 days of search.
Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino agreed and called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to step in.
“Siguro dapat si DSWD ay harapin na iyong mga pamilyang nag hihintay dyan. Ito na iyong community counseling siguro. Harapin na. Sabihin na na wala nang pagasang makitang buhay ang mga kamag anak. Ito na siguro ang meron kayong mga counselor dito na pwedeng magbigay ng stress debriefing, trauma counseling. Kayo na iyon,” he said.
Based on the latest tally of the Cordillera Risk Reduction and Management Council, as of September 26, the death toll in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong in the entire Cordillera Region has hit 110 and 25 people are still missing.
In Barangay Ucab, the number of fatalities already climbed to 64 while 16 people remain missing. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
MANILA, Philippines—Northern provinces Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet have reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after recording high cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The MECQ status will take effect on May 11 until May 23.
As of May 10, Cagayan has 4,657 cases followed by Benguet with 531 and Apayao with 63.
Business operations in the said areas will be limited according to the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
A liquor ban will be implemented while religious gatherings will only be allowed at 10% capacity. Entertainment and recreational events also be suspended.
Benguet governor Melchor Diclas reported that majority of the COVID-19 cases in their area are severe. Hospitals in Benguet are also in short supply of respirators.
“Dumadami talaga ang mga pasyente natin. Marami ang namamatay at marami ang nagkakasakit ng critical at serious. Ang respirator natin may nagagamit tayong 13 na respirator. Ang bakante nalang ay dalawa,” he said.
(Our patients are increasing. Many have died and many are in critical or serious condition. We have 13 respirators but there are only two available units left.)
Hospitals in Apayao, meanwhile, are at 80% critical level. In Cagayan Province, Governor Manuel Mamba said Tuguegarao City’s home quarantine setup is still contributing to the rising cases of COVID-19.
“Hindi magiging epektibo ang MECQ sa Tuguegarao City hangga’t may home quarantine,” he said.
(MECQ in Tuguegarao City will not be effective as long as home quarantine is being implemented .)
Mamba continues to reiterate the need to build isolation facilities in Tuguegarao to accommodate COVID-19 patients. AAC (With reports from Marvin Calas)
MANILA, Philippines —Thousands of dried marijuana plants and seeds were confiscated in a series of raids conducted by police operatives in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.
In a statement, PNP chief General Debold Sinas said the Cordillera police launched the operations on five clandestine marijuana farms in Kalinga from Thursday until Friday, as part of PNP’s “summer offensive” against cultivation of prohibited plants.
The police raid on the five plantation sites, with a total land area of 2,550 square meters, stemmed from a buy-bust operation conducted by joint elements of Special Operations Unit 2, led by PNP Drug Enforcement Group with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Isabela, the Isabela PIU, the SAF Kalinga and the 2nd Coy KPMFC on February 18, 2021, that resulted in the arrest of two persons.
The PNP said the operation yielded the arrest of two persons who told authorities about the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the mountainous area of Barangay Loccong, Tinglayan, Kalinga.
This information led to the clearing operations and destruction of marijuana plants in coordination with the PDEA, the PNP said.
Police said a total of 21,600 fully-grown marijuana plants were destroyed in the clandestine farms, including some 30 kilograms of dried marijuana stalks and one kilogram of marijuana seeds, all estimated to be worth P7,945,000 based on standard drug price used by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
“Let me reiterate that police operation against the cultivation, production, and trafficking of Marijuana will continue without let-up because under Philippine laws, Cannabis in the form of plants, products, and its derivatives is still a dangerous drug as defined under Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” Sinas said.
BENGUET PROVINCE, Philippines — A total of 200 miners and their families have been locked down inside a bunkhouse in a mining community in Itogon, Benguet after a number of miners tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The local government and health officials in the area have agreed to subject all bunkhouse occupants to the same COVID-19 management protocols being applied to positive cases.
According to Governor Melchor Diclas, inside the bunkhouse were also the 44 miners who first contracted the disease.
“Ang nag-positive dyan ay 40 plus another nadagdagan kaya mga 50. Kaya ang decision diyan dahil walang paglalagyan pa na quarantine facility kaya ginawa natin na yung bunkhouse na ang quarantine facility o isolation facility doon, (Around 40 people initially tested positive then the number increased to more than 50. So we decided, since there is no quarantine facility available, the bunkhouse itself will be their quarantine facility or isolation facility),” the governor said.
All positive cases are confined on the third and fourth floors of the building while those who are not sick occupy the ground floor and second floor as they await the result of their swab tests.
While they are inside the bunkhouse, the local government is currently working on establishing an isolation facility where the infected families will be transferred.
On Thursday (October 22), another 74 miners were among the 93 new COVID-19 cases reported in the province, the highest number since the outbreak started in the Cordillera region.
Most miners and their families who tested positive for the disease were from crowded mining communities of Stio Luneta in Barangay Loacan, Sitio Sangilo in Poblacion, Sitio Balatoc in Virac and Barangay Ampucao.
Overall, the province has reported a total of 872 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 426 of which recovered and 11 died of the disease. MNP (with reports from Grace Doctolero)
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