DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan is now under a state of calamity for the second time this year, following a declaration approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) during a special session held on September 26.

This, after the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) requested the lifting of the previous declaration last July 18 and recommended the subsequent declaration again on account of the impact of Super Typhoon “Ompong”.

The request to declare the city under a state of calamity anew was considered urgent as the effects of the supertyphoon are still being felt by the city, with its impact continuing beyond the duration of its onslaught.

This, after the numerous severe weather conditions that were experienced in the city also lessened the resources and capabilities of Dagupenos to combat the effects of the recent disaster.

Sec. 3 of RA 10121 or the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010” defines a state of calamity as “a condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of natural or human-induced hazard.”

Typhoon “Ompong” caused storm surges in different parts from the city aside from its strong winds and heavy rains which resulted in the destruction of crops, aquaculture products, structures and communication lines.

CDRRMO Head Ronald de Guzman reported that the city accumulated damages amounting to P7,830,500 in aquaculture and P663,000 in agriculture,  respectively, or a total of P8,493,500 worth of damages during the recent typhoon hit.

During the onslaught, at least 2,422 families or 10,020 individuals were moved to 26 designated evacuation centers and Privately Hosted Evacuation Centers during the preemptive evacuation undertaken by the CDRRMO before “Ompong” could make landfall in Cagayan.

While no casualty was reported, the declaration would allow the utilization of the remaining local calamity fund in order to restore the situation in the city to normalcy as soon as possible.

During the special session held at SP, Councilor Maybelyn dela Cruz-Fernandez disclosed how the declaration would also help in bringing in an influx of assistance from various national government agencies as well as non-government organizations.

“Hindi lang yung araw ng may kalamidad ang calamity. Pati yung epekto sa pang-araw-araw na buhay ng tao na naapektuhan ng kalamidad, ramdam nila yun kahit tapos na yung kalamidad. It’s never too late to declare the city under the state of calamity,”added Fernandez. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)