Benguet board to declare province under state of calamity in special meet

CALAMITY FUND. The provincial board on Thursday will meet to discuss the declaration of a state of calamity for Benguet so it could avail of the calamity fund needed to fix roads, infrastructures said vice gov. Ericson Felipe Tuesday seen here in front of the provincial legislative building. PML

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is expected to declare the province under a state of calamity when it holds a special meeting Thursday morning.

Benguet vice governor Ericson Felipe on Tuesday said Benguet has suffered heavy damages during the onslaught of super typhoon Egay last week damaging roads, causing landslides that isolated many far flung areas.

The vice governor said many localities remain under darkness as electric posts were knocked down due to the heavy rains and strong winds during its onslaught last July 26.

Felipe said that with the provincial board declaring Benguet under a state calamity, they can fast track rehabilitating damaged roads and bring relief to the people.

“I don’t have the figures but damages are substantial especially in the northern portion of the province which suffered the most,” said Felipe of the unrelenting rains that caused swelling of rivers and bodies of waters.

Felipe said that damages run in the millions requiring fundings not just from the provincial government but also private individuals including contractors who could lend their equipment in the clearing efforts to restore damaged roads.

“I have already utilized my own equipment to help in the clearing and I even use my own fuel just to fast track clearing operations but we need more (equipment),” said the vice governor, a contractor.

He said that president Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has allocated funds for the province but it will not be enough to fund the rehabilitation efforts.

“All reports will be consolidated in time for our special meeting on Thursday including damages to infrastructures, houses, agriculture and even electricity, while they also await the city treasury’s report on how much they could draw from the calamity fund.

He said that they were supposed to meet Wednesday but he is set to meet Sen. Rogelio dela Rosa, while the board members need to visit their athletes competing in the Palarong Pambansa in Marikina also Wednesday.

“All of us will be back Thursday for the special board meeting,” he added. Pigeon Lobien



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