Image source: CLTV 36 Official Facebook page

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – In the heart of Central Luzon, a daunting crisis unfolds as the region confronts the aftermath of the powerful Typhoon “Egay” and the formidable “habagat,” the enhanced southwest monsoon. The combined forces of these weather disturbances have left a trail of destruction, plunging thousands of residents into dire circumstances.

As the affected families grapple with the devastating impact, a ray of hope shines through the tireless efforts of various government agencies. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and dedicated local government units (LGUs) in the area have sprung into action, accelerating their relief initiatives to extend vital aid and support to those in need.

Image source: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

As of July 31, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-Central Luzon (RDRRMC-3) revealed distressing figures, with a staggering 341,242 families, totaling 1,195,886 individuals, facing displacement due to persistent and heavy rainfall that triggered widespread flooding in recent days.

To address this pressing situation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) swiftly took action, allotting approximately 140,000 family food packs (FFPs) to provide vital assistance to severely affected Local Government Units (LGUs) in the region. Responding to the urgency of the situation, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian has given directives for the immediate dispatch of around 289,906 additional FFPs during the first two weeks of August. These food packs aim to lend much-needed support to the LGUs in the Cagayan Valley, Ilocos region, Cordillera Autonomous Region, and Central Luzon, where communities have been severely impacted by the floods.

Amidst the calamity’s wrath, the combined efforts of DSWD-3 and local government units (LGUs) have extended a helping hand, channeling aid totaling P31.31 million to those impacted, offering a glimmer of hope in their darkest hours.

Among the regions severely affected, Pampanga stands tall as it leaps into action, making a significant difference by distributing 20,000 nourishing food packs to the beleaguered families residing in the flood-stricken towns of Santo Tomas, San Luis, Candaba, San Simon, Minalin, and the resilient City of San Fernando.

Image source: Bulacan Vice Governor Alex Castro’s Official Facebook page

Similarly, in a remarkable show of compassion and leadership, Governor Daniel Fernando of Bulacan spearheaded the distribution of vital food packs to distressed residents in Calumpit and Guiguinto towns. This benevolent effort comes in the wake of the recent floods that forced a staggering 21,367 individuals or 5,631 families to evacuate from their homes, leaving them in dire need of assistance.

As the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) continues its valiant efforts to provide relief to those affected, Governor Fernando has also taken the initiative to address the underlying issue. During the Technical Working Group Meeting of the House Committee on Public Works and Highways, he made a compelling appeal to prioritize finding a long-term and comprehensive solution to the decade-old problem of flooding in Bulacan.

Image source: Provincial Government of Bulacan Official Facebook Page

A state of calamity has been officially declared by the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan. Governor Fernando, in a somber announcement, emphasized the critical necessity of this declaration as the devastating impact has left agriculture, livestock, and infrastructure in Bulacan in ruins.

Astounding figures of destruction have surfaced, with agricultural damages soaring to a staggering P80 million, and the livelihoods of countless farmers and breeders severely affected, with almost P3 million in losses for livestock and hogs alone. It’s a heart-rending situation that does not even encompass the full extent of the damage inflicted on vital infrastructure.

In a momentous resolution jointly authored by Vice Governor Alexis C. Castro and unanimously approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, it was revealed that the devastating forces of Typhoon Egay and the relentless enhanced southwest monsoon had a profound impact on the lives of 228,648 families across 171 barangays in Bulacan.

Image source: Governor Delta Pineda (Official Facebook Page)

Meanwhile, in the province of Pampanga, Governor Dennis Pineda reported the staggering aftermath of the calamity, as the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) identified 232 barangays in 15 LGUs severely affected by floods. The torrential waters disrupted the lives of approximately 144,340 families, encompassing a staggering 517,722 individuals. To add to the woes, the initial estimate of agricultural damage in the province amounted to a substantial P315.23 million.

Image source: Bulakan Voyager 𝓔𝓪𝓰𝓵𝓮𝓼 Club Official Facebook Page

In response to these immense challenges, a state of calamity was declared in both provinces, granting them access to critical calamity funds to address the urgent needs of the affected communities. Governor Pineda, emphasizing the importance of solidarity and collaboration at the grassroots level, recognized that the crisis cannot be tackled alone and called for mutual support among barangays and municipalities.

Image source: Governor Delta Pineda (Official Facebook Page)

As Central Luzon grapples with the aftermath of the double impact from Typhoon Egay and the southwest monsoon, the importance of relief efforts and assistance cannot be overstated. The road to recovery and rebuilding lies ahead for the affected families, and it will require the unwavering spirit of cooperation and support from both government agencies and local communities alike. By joining forces, the region can surmount this trying time and forge a path towards resilience and recovery.