Iloilo preps for heavy rains ahead of ‘Mawar’s’ entry

By John Noel E. Herrera and Jennifer P. Rendon

The Iloilo Provincial Government is already prepositioning all available assets and logistics to ensure immediate response if needed as the entry of Super Typhoon ‘Mawar’ into the country could enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat.

In a press conference on Friday, May 26, 2023, Governor Arthur Defensor Jr said they are already reviewing the province’s capacity to help all the towns, noting that the provincial government’s role during calamities is to strengthen all their capacities to be on the frontline.

“Ga-preparar kita nga mabulig kita asta sa masarangan naton sa aton mga munisipyo. We have prepared kung ano man pwede naton mabulig sa relief operations if needed. Gina-preparahan man naton ang aton operations and deployment kay kung magpalapit na siya, ang problema naton ang Habagat nga magdala sang ulan,” Defensor explained.

Citing a report from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that ‘Mawar’ might not make landfall in the country, Defensor stressed it is not even the typhoon that they need to prepare for but the rains brought by the southwest monsoon.

Rainfalls triggered by habagat and low pressure areas in the past months have resulted in flooding and landslides in some areas in the province.

“Ang aton gina preparahan hindi ang bagyo, hindi ang hangin, ang gina-preparahan naton ang ulan nga dal-on sang habagat kay sang nagligad nga sinimana, low pressure area lang ginbaha na kita. So, right now, we have to be careful of the habagat that will be strengthened by the super typhoon and that is why we are preparing,” Defensor said.

On May 3, 2023, non-stop rains brought by a low pressure area (LPA) affected several provinces in Western Visayas, including Iloilo.

Floodings were reported in the towns of Calinog, Pototan, Zarraga, Lambunao, Dingle, and Dumangas, which affected a total of 3,910 families – a situation that the provincial government wanted to avoid.

Meanwhile, updates from PAGASA Visayas as of 3 p.m., Friday, May 26, moderate to heavy rain showers with lightning and strong winds due to thunderstorms are affecting some areas in the region, which include portions of Iloilo City, towns of Dumangas, Pototan, Duenas, Dingle, New Lucena, Mina, Zarraga, Leganes, Pavia, Oton, and San Miguel in Iloilo province; Bugasong and Valderama in Antique, and Murcia, Salvador Benedicto, Talisay City, Calatrava, Cadiz City, Sagay City, and Hinoba-an in Negros Occidental.

PAGASA Visayas added that the said weather conditions may persist within 1 to 2 hours and everyone is advised to take precautionary measures against the impacts associated with these hazards, which include flash floods and landslides.

Defensor, on the other hand, said that preventive evacuations in all areas depend on the advice of the weather and disaster agencies, as they could not determine the volume of rainfall, noting that it would not come from the rainbands of ‘Mawar’, but from habagat.

“We don’t exactly know kung mag-sulod na sya sa PAR, ano ang volume of rainfall because our rainfall will not come from Betty (local name of ‘Mawar’), it will come from Habagat, but in any event, our municipalities are prepared for evacuations and kita ready man magbulig,” he said.

PAGASA’s 11 a.m. update stated that Mawar continued to strengthen as it approached the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), which it was forecast to enter by Friday evening or Saturday morning (May 27).

The weather bureau said that the center of the eye of Mawar was estimated at 1,705 km east of southeastern Luzon as it was moving westward at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) while packing maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 260 km/h and a central pressure of 905 hectoPascals (hPa), as of 10 a.m., May 26.


In the event of any disaster, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Region 6 has enough food and non-food items (FNFIs) that are ready for relief augmentation to local government units (LGUs).

The agency made the assurance as Super Typhoon Mawar continues to gain strength as it moves westward over the Philippine Sea, although reports had it that it might not make landfall in the country.

As of May 25, a total of P89 million worth of FNFIs are stockpiled in different regional warehouses and preposition sites in Western Visayas.

Atty. May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 regional information officer, said the agency has 73,061 family food packs worth P46.5 million are ready and located in the following locations:

* 38,451 at the Regional Warehouse in Oton, Iloilo;

* 13,592 at the regional warehouse in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental;

* 2,700 in Lipata Port, Culasi, Antique; and

* 38,451 in 37 partner LGUs.

Also stockpiled are non-food items (NFIs) worth  P42.5 million composed of hygiene kits, sleeping kits, family kits, kitchen kits, tents, laminated sacks, and other non-food relief goods.

These goods are stored in strategic preposition sites and ready for distribution to requesting LGUs in case affected by any disaster.