Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ cuts power in parts of Oriental Mindoro, Romblon

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2019   •   608

MANILA, Philippines – Power supply was temporarily cut off in parts of Oriental Mindoro and Romblon provinces as typhoon ‘Tisoy’ (international name: Kammuri) pummeled these areas on Tuesday.

Local disaster officials reported that Tisoy’s violent winds and heavy rains swayed electric posts and uprooted many trees which obstructed some roads going to the city proper Calapan.

Local authorities said swollen rivers that are in danger of spilling over are also being monitored as the typhoon continues to dump rains in Oriental Mindoro.

In Occidental Mindoro, more than 500 families are currently staying in temporary shelters after they fled their homes ahead of the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy.

These residents were evacuated from the towns of Mamburao, Abra de Ilog, Sta. Cruz, Sablayan, Magsaysay, Lubang, Paloan, and Rizal which were heavily battered by the storm.

Violent winds also swept through Romblon, toppling trees and damaging power facilities which prompted power cuts in the province.

Tisoy’s heavy rains also drenched Infanta town in Quezon province and prompted more than 8,000 residents to flee their homes in coastal areas in Batangas.

The evacuees are taking shelter in 55 evacuation centers opened in the province.

“Since kagabi o kahapon ay nagtuloy-tuloy ang ating preemptive evacuation. Ipinakita ng ating mga counterparts yung dedikasyon ating objective na ang ating mga kababayang Batangueño ay maiiwas dun sa maaaring sakunang mangyari,” Joselito Castro of Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said.

Tisoy also pounded and caused flooding in parts of Laguna, particularly in Kalayaan and other portions of the province’s Fourth District.

The power supply was temporarily out, and more than 1,000 individuals were evacuated.

Local officials said a relief operation will be conducted on Wednesday to areas affected by the typhoon.

As of this writing, winds and rains experienced in the said areas have weakened after Tisoy made another landfall around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday over Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 2 p.m. severe weather bulletin that Tisoy has further weakened as it traverses the northern portion of Mindoro provinces.

It was last spotted in the vicinity of Baco, Oriental Mindoro, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, and gustiness of up to 195 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals are still up in a number of areas.

Tisoy is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday morning. — RRD (with reports from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

Tons of mackerel tuna swim ashore in Romblon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2020

ROMBLON, Philippines – Tons of mackerel tuna (tulingan) surfaced along the coastline of Barangay Sawang in the town of Romblon on Friday (January 17), prompting cheers of excitement from residents.

According to the uploader of the viral video, they have been observing hundreds of fish swimming near the shoreline since Thursday.

It was not the first time that such a phenomenon happened in the area, though the most recent was many years ago, one resident said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), meanwhile, said they are still verifying the cause of the incident though the agency explained that fish usually appear near the beach if they find something to feed on.

Typhoon Tisoy-hit members, pensioners can now avail of calamity loan – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019

Children frolic in floodwater in Naga city, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/JONNEL MARIBOJOC

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Social Security System (SSS) who were affected by typhoon Tisoy may now apply for the Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) loan.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said members and pensioners in Southern Luzon and Visayas hit by Tisoy may now avail of the calamity loan, direct house repair and improvement loan as well the advanced three-month pension program.

She added that the CAP program, which has a total fund allocation of more than P614 million, covers members and pensioners residing in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

These areas include Batangas City; Mabitac, Laguna; Provinces of Quezon, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque; Corcuera, Romblon and San Fernando in Romblon; and Province of Northern Samar.

“The CAP includes a loan assistance program which is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan,” Ignacio said in a statement Monday.

“Members can borrow up to P40,000 in calamity loan depending on their average last 12 monthly salary credit. The financial assistance is also open to pensioners who can avail three months advance of their monthly pension. Moreover, members can also apply for direct housing repair and improvement loan,” she added.

Loan application for Tisoy-hit SSS members is open from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.

“Members who would like to avail of the Calamity Assistance Package are required to be registered in the My.SSS application to facilitate their billing requirements in the future,” Ignacio said.

The SSS Chief, however, clarified that members who still have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) and previous CAPs, as well as those receiving pensions for total permanent disability and retirement, and those who have availed of the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are not qualified to avail of the calamity loan.

The SSS said the calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments.

To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee, it added.

Aside from the calamity loan, the SSS said that members with damaged properties can also avail of the direct house repair and improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments.

“Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program which will run for one year or until 20 December 2020,” Ignacio said.

“To qualify, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” she added.

DA estimates Typhoon Tisoy damage, losses

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2019

Fishermen secure boats in anticipation rain and strong winds brought by Typhoon Kammuri, in Cavite City, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Agriculture on Monday (December 9) released the estimated damage and losses brought by Typhoon “Tisoy”.

The department announced that Tisoy caused damage and losses to around Php 3.70B.

In a statement released on Monday, the DA said: “the volume of production loss on rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and fisheries amounted to 195,046 metric tons, affecting 132,166 hectares and 92,701 farmers and fisherfolks.”

It explained that the increase from the initial estimate of Php 1.93B happened when updated and additional reports from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Ilocos Region, and Eastern Visayas arrived.

The DA added that, “The damage and losses are only equivalent to 1% of the estimated total rice production by the end of 2019.”

Based on the DA’s monthly projection, losses in rice production is only 9% of the projected production for December. The estimated loss in corn production, meanwhile, was only 1.56%.

The Department said it has an available Php 250 million from the Quick Response Fund (QRF) for rehabilitation.

“The Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) allocated PhP 65 million under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Program for assistance. The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) will fast-track the release of indemnity to farmers and fisherfolk hit by the typhoon,” the statement added.

It further said that they have prepared a total of 93,711 bags of rice seeds, 17,999 bags of corn seeds, 1,979 kgs of high-value crops seed reserves ready for distribution to affected farmers who are ready to replant.

Moreover, 7,500 coconut seedlings from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and 151,142 bags of RCEF seeds for eligible RCEF beneficiaries from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are also ready for distribution in Region 5.

Affected fisherfolks in the region will also receive relief goods, tilapia fingerlings, and fishing paraphernalia (gill nets, bottom set long line, 30ft fiberglass boat engine) from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 5 (BFAR-5).

The DA also said that the concerned RFOs are still conducting field validation to give more accurate reports regarding the impact of Typhoon Tisoy. —mbmf

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