Lapu-Lapu City Council presided by Vice-mayor Celedonio Sitoy, declared the islands of Olango, Caubian Pangan-an, and Caohagan under the state of calamity, giving the City access to its P7 million quick response fund (QRF).

Upon the timely endorsement of Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (LDRRMC), the Sangguniang Panlungsod approved and concurred with the mayor’s endorsement in their regular session last August 22.

In the session, the Sangguniang Panlungsod approved in mass motion declaring the whole Olango island with eight barangays and the three island barangays of Pangan-an, Caohagan, and Caubian in a state of calamity after the livelihood, work of residents and the economy were affected by the six-day gale warning issued by PAG-ASA.

City Accountant Helen Dungog said, even without individual barangays declaring a state of calamity, the Sangguniang Panlungsod can declare a state of calamity for the affected areas, to authorize the release of the calamity funds. City disaster head and LDRRMC secretary Nagiel Banacia said they will now start purchasing relief items, to replenish used items, food, shelter, medical supplies to island residents.

He said standard DSWD relief items include 6 kilos rice, four cans of sardines, four cans of corned beef, six sachets of coffee. Workers may also apply for calamity loans in government finance institutions.

The gale or intense habagat last August 4 brought by tropical depression Hanna triggered strong winds and huge waves that prevented wooden-hull motorboats from ferrying passengers from the mainland to the island and vice versa.

LDRRMC resolution stated that the worst impact of the gale prevented motorboats from ferrying passengers and goods thus stopping the transport of food supplies and resulting in a shortage of food and fuel that triggered blackouts and transport of seriously ill patients that need intensive care.

Also professional workers were immobilized in reporting for work. Damage assessment revealed that 2,189 families were affected in Olango island, 582 in Caubian, 300 in Pangan-an and some families in Caohagan. There was no available data submitted in Caohagan./HT Lenis