Paeng’s death toll now at 29;  10 persons remain missing

Colonel Noel Aliño leads the search and rescue of a car that was swept away by flood at Barangay Jalaud Norte, Zarraga, Iloilo on Saturday which resulted in the death of one person. (Photo courtesy of Colonel Noel Aliño/IPPO)

By Jennifer P. Rendon and John Noel E. Herrera

Tropical Storm Paeng has claimed at least 29 lives in Western Visayas, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-6 reported.

As of 2 p.m. of Nov 1, 2022, records from the RDRRMC-6’s Management of Dead and Missing (MDM) indicated that Antique province logged the most number of deaths at 11.

Aklan reported seven deaths, Capiz with six, and Iloilo with five.

Majority of those who died are due to drowning while two elderly persons from Antique succumbed to cardiac arrest.

Meanwhile, 10 persons remain missing in Paeng’s aftermath.

Antique again has the most number of missing persons at 6; 2 in Iloilo; and 1 each in Aklan and Negros Occidental.

The Office of Civil Defense 6 has earlier clarified that it is the MDM record that will officially declare a person dead as a result of the calamity.

For a person to be declared as confirmed dead, the incident must have been booked with or reported to the local police, certified by the local health authority, and reported by the local disaster risk reduction and management office.

Meanwhile, in its report as of 2 p.m. of November 1, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 reported 32 deaths and 9 missing persons. Nine persons were also reported injured.

State of calamity

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. placed Western Visayas under a state of calamity in Paeng’s aftermath.

The proclamation which was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin and issued on Oct 2, stated that the state of calamity would be in effect for six months unless lifted earlier by the President.

The declaration will “hasten the rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector.

“It also aims “to effectively control the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and afford the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds for rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts.”

The declaration will also allow national and local governments to use appropriate funds for calamity response.

Data from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-6) indicated that typhoon Paeng affected 348,780 families or 1,321,601 persons in Western Visayas.

The Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas (DA-6) also reported that a total of 13,930 farmers were affected by typhoon Paeng as the agricultural damage has already reached P376.24 million, as of Nov 2.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas thanked Marcos for declaring a state of calamity in several regions, including Region 6.

“This will hasten assistance to the affected families and rehabilitation of the infrastructure destroyed by Paeng,” Treñas added.

The Iloilo City Government earlier planned to declare a state of calamity due to the effects of Tropical Storm Paeng.

“As soon as we can declare a state of calamity, (we) will provide financial assistance from our calamity funds of P10,000 to all families with totally damaged houses and P7,000 to all families with partially damaged houses,” Treñas earlier said.

Reports from Iloilo City DRRM Office also showed that a total of 1,593 families or 6,754 individuals were affected by the typhoon, while 342 houses in the city were partially damaged and 167 were totally damaged.

Aside from Western Visayas, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Bicol Region, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were also placed under a state of calamity status due to typhoon Paeng through Proclamation No. 84.