By Glazyl Y. Masculino and Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Northern Negros Occidental ordered the suspension of all vessel trips here and in the province to Cebu, Manila, and Iloilo, and vice-versa yesterday due to Tropical Storm “Paeng.”
Commander Joe Luviz Mercurio, head of PCG northern Negros Occidental, stated in its first sea travel advisory that all trips of vessels en route to Daan Bantayan via Cadiz Commercial port were suspended due to Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 being hoisted in the area.
The PCG cited its reference to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Tropical Cyclone Bulletin No. 8 issued at 5 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, wherein Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 is hoisted in the area of Visayas.
Mercurio issued another advisory later that day, pursuant to PAGASA Tropical Cyclone Bulletin No. 9 issued at 11 a.m.
In its second advisory, Mercurio ordered the suspension of all trips of vessels from Manila via Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port here, Dumangas, Iloilo via Bredco port and Banago port here, Iloilo via Bredco port, Tabuelan, Cebu via Sagay City and Escalante City, and Toledo City, Cebu via San Carlos City, and vice-versa.
The PCG has yet to provide data on stranded passengers.
Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) here reported yesterday that flooded areas last Wednesday night were Barangays 39, 35, Singcang-Airport, Pahanocoy, and Mansilingan.
Portions of Barangay Taculing like Puroks Progreso, and Riverside, Sharina Heights, 4th, and 5th Puentebella Subd., Barangay 36, Balay Silangan at the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) were also affected by flooding.
However, Dr. Anna Pornan, CDRRMO head, said that evacuees have already returned to their houses later that night.
Pornan said the water level rose since there was also a high tide amid the heavy rainfall.
She said that flooding here is not a serious problem because flood water subsides in two to three hours or even less than an hour because of the drainage systems that were put up by the city government.
She, however, said that flood water can cause diseases like leptospirosis.
She hopes the problem of flooding here will be addressed, as she noted that it is one of the priority projects of the current administration.
3,000 FAMILIES AFFECTED
Meanwhile, more than 3,000 families in 28 barangays in Negros Occidental were affected by floods due to incessant rains.
In a report to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson as of 2 p.m. Friday, Provincial Welfare Officer Merle Garcia said that the total number of persons affected totaled 13,710.
Of these, 2,870 families, or 12,847 persons, were displaced outside evacuation centers while 863, or 206 families, are taking refuge in evacuation centers of their respective local government units.
The affected localities are Hinoba-an with 2 barangays, Moises Padilla (1), San Carlos City (5), EB Magalona (1), Bago City (1), Calatrava (9), and Valladolid (9).
Garcia said affected the LGUs extended food assistance to the displaced families.
In Bacolod City, a report from the Public Information Office showed that 8 barangays are affected because of the flood – Barangays 35, 26, 39, Punta Taytay, Estefania, Mandalagan, Taculing, and Sum-ag.
PIO in charge Carmela Arcolas-Gamboa said 10 families from Barangays 31, Punta Tay Tay, and Singcang were displaced.
Mayor Alfredo Benitez also issued Executive Order No. 051 on Friday ordering work suspension in all departments of the city government except essential workers under the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other employees performing vital functions related to relief and rescue operations.
EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon also suspended work in government offices from 12.
Only frontline offices that are members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will continue their duties as “Paeng” maintains its strength and continues to bring heavy rains over Western Visayas, said a report from the EB Magalona PIO.