by Micheal V. Valentos
The Regional Disaster Coordinating
Council (RDCC) identified Nueva Ecija as the province in Central Luzon
that experienced the most widespread flooding from rains brought by typhoon
As of October 11, the RDCC
said that 28 out of the province's 32 towns and cities were affected by
Although flooding in Nueva
Ecija was not as deep as in adjacent La Paz, Tarlac, it was extensive,
with the deepest flood reported in Cuyapo, adjacent to Pangasinan and also
affected by the release of water from San Roque Dam.
Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said
that the provincial government immediately conducted rescue and relief
operations, and fanned out teams on rubber boats and dump trucks to search
for affected residents in 144 barangays hit by flood.
He said that the most affected
barangays were in Cuyapo, Aliaga, Guimba, Licab, Quezon, Santo Domingo,
Talavera, Zaragoza, Santa Rosa, Jaen, San Antonio, San Isidro, Cabiao,
Rizal and Bongabon and the cities of Cabanatuan, Muñoz, Gapan and
Umali had suspended classes
in all levels last October 8 and 9, fearing that the floods could worsen
due to the release of water from Pantabangan Dam.
Eng. Antonio s. Nangel, operations
manager of the National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River
Integrated Irrigation Systems (NIA-UPRIIS) said that as October 9, the
water level of the dam was at 220.64 meters, just inches away from then
spilling level of 221 meters. Excess water was released at 700 cubic
meters per second.
The governor said that the
evacuees reached by the provincial government's mobile kitchens were
fed and given relief goods. He said that some 180,000 residents were evacuated.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair
of the Philippine National Red Cross, said that four rubber boats were
sent to Nueva Ecija to help in the rescue efforts.
The highways at the boundaries
of Zaragoza and La Paz, Tarlac; Rizal town and Aurora; and Licab and Victoria,
Tarlac were impassable.
The floods also affected
traffic going to Pangasinan from San Jose City and Cuyapo.
Mudslides again closed a
portion of the highway in Carranglan leading to Nueva Vizcaya.
Sr. Insp. Reuben Garcia,
Carranglan police chief, reported that landslides happened between kilometer
posts 192 and 193 in Barangays Puncan and Digdig.
The Department of Public
Works and Highways First Engineering District headed by Eng. Ramiro Cruz
stationed one back hoe, one grader, one pay loader and two dump trucks
to clear the area.
Meanwhile Dr. Abraham A.
Pascua, provincial interior and local government officer and co-chair of
the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, said that they were still
consolidating reports on damage to property, infrastructure and agriculture
from the affected areas.
He said that partial and
unofficial reports showed 41,730.92 hectares of palay were destroyed by
floods, with most of the crop in the reproductive stage. ###
Flooding in Nueva Ecija
and Central Luzon as of 7:00 AM, October 11.
Courtesy of RDCC Region 3.
suffers massive rice loss
Some 44,233 hectares of palay
crop in Nueva Ecija went underwater when floods hit the province due to
continuous rains from typhoon Pepeng.
Serafin Santos, provincial
agriculturist, said that 28,786 hectares of palay crops had no chance of
recovery. Losses could reach 2.302 million cavans.
On the other hand, the other
rice lands with chances of recovery could expected a harvest reduction
of 20 to 40 percent.
Santos said that the estimated
losses in rice harvest could reach P1.5 billion, with the province missing
its targeted rice harvest of 750,000 metric tons.
The total number of rice
lands submerged is expected to go up as six other towns and one city had
not sent damage reports.
In Santa Rosa, Quezon, Aliaga
and Licab, chest deep water covered rice lands.
Bernardo Valdez, head of
the operations division of the provincial agriculturist's office, said
that all that they saw in the flooded rice lands were water lilies. ###
Blame heavy rains, not the dam, for floods
It was the unusually heavy
rainfall brought by typhoon Pepeng that caused waterways to overflow --
not the release of excess water from Pantabangan Dam.
A bulletin released by NIA-UPRIIS
that operates Pantabangan Dam said that as of October 9, the dam's elevation
was 220.63 meters, just .36 meters away from its 221 automatic spilling
Operations Manager Antonio
S. Nangel said that the excess water from the dam was released to the Murcon,
Vaca and Pampanga Rivers.
A week earlier, last October
1, excess water was released from the dam in anticipation of the
heavy rains from typhoon Pepeng. The dam's water elevation then was 219.5
Nangel sid that the water
release was stopped last at noon last October 3, to avoid adding to the
volume of run-off rain water in low-lying areas.
Gov. Aurelio Umali ordered
the suspension of classes in elementary and high schools on October 1 and
2 to allow residents to prepare for typhoon Pepeng.
Classes in the tertiary level
were suspended by the Commission on Higher Education as early as October
1, following the inclusion of Nueva Ecija in the list of calamity areas
affected by typhoon Ondoy, declared by the National Disaster Coordinating
Dam stops water release after Pampanga congressman's appeal
Irrigation officials closed
the spillway gates of Pantabangan Dam last October 11 following an appeal
from Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc to allow floods to subside in areas
hit by typhoon Pepeng in Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.
Dam officials had earlier
said that it was necessary to gradually release excess water before, during
and after typhoon Pepeng because it would be more dangerous if the dam
water were to reach an uncontrollable level.
Eng. Antonio S. Nangel, NIA-UPRIIS
operations manager said that they first asked for the advice of Gov. Aurelio
M. Umali and the heads of PAGASA, Regional Disaster Coordinating Council
and the Casecnan Dam and power plant before acceding to Bondoc's request.
Barangay Pamacpacan in Jaen
town was still submerged in knee to chest deep floodwater as of October
10, while the rest of the province slowly recovered from the extensive
It was reported that all
houses in Pamacpacan were under water, with many residents stranded on
Remy Sanchez climbed to the
roof of her house when the flood water started to rise last October 9.
“Dito na ako natutulog,
lubog ang buong bahay,” Sanchez said.
Rescue operations continued
but many residents opted to stay home hoping that the flood would subside
About 20,000 hectares of
rice fields in the barangay were damaged.
In adjacent San Antonio town,
Gov. Aurelio Umali said that relief goods were distributed to 700 households
in Barangay Panabingan.
He said that Quezon City
Judge Ralph Lee joined the rescue team in Panabingan. During typhoon Ondoy,
the judge saved many residents of Santa Monica, Novaliches with the use
of his jet ski and rubber boats. ###
death toll: two dead, one missing
The Nueva Ecija Provincial
Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) reported that one woman died of heart
attack, while another was electrocuted due to typhoon Pepeng. One
man was reported missing.
Dr. Abraham Pascua, provincial
interior and local government officer and PDCC co-chair, identified one
fatality as Analie Santua, 45 of Barangay Estrella, Rizal. She died reportedly
of heart attack after she was taken to an evacuation center in the town.
The other victim was Jennifer
de Guzman of Barangay Putlod, Jaen who was electrocuted inside her house.
Reported missing and feared
dead was Loreto Gallardo of Pantabangan. ###
appeals for help
Gov. Aurelio M Umali appealed
to Filipinos, particularly those working and living overseas, to send their
donations to the provincial capitol or to ABS-CBN.
He also gave his personal
cell phone number -- 0918-905-9698 -- so those who want to know the
status of their families in Nueva Ecija can text.
”Kindly text me so that I
can direct yung pong aming records or sa mga barangays that
you want to know kung ano po ang sitwasyon so that I can give you
more or less an accurate information doon po sa mga lugar,” he said.
commends Ecija PDCC
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
praised the efficient and effective action of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating
Council (PDCC) that resulted in minimal damage from typhoons Ondoy and
Gov. Aurelio M. Umali said
that the President commended the PDCC and concerned government agencies
for effectively implementing disaster preparedness management.
The President went to Nueva
Ecija last October 4 to meet with the members of the PDCC about plans and
preparations for calamities.
She assured that the national
government will extend support to farmers whose crops were destroyed by
Initial reports received
by the PDCC said that P307 million worth of crops were damaged. Some 426
hectares of vegetable farms were affected, costing P6.9 million.
Llanera town was among the
hardest hit with damage costing P73.3 million, representing 2,576 hectares
of rice lands submerged in knee-deep waters.
The other affected towns
with massive crop damage are Santo. Domingo, P70-million; Licab, P49-million;
Carranglan, P43.1-million, and Nampicuan, P43-million
Heavy crop damages were also
reported in Aliaga, Bongabon, Cuyapo, Gen. Natividad, Gen. Tinio, Guimba,
Jaen, Laur, Licab, Pantabangan, Peñaranda, Quezon, Rizal, San Antonio,
San Isidro, San Leonardo, Santa Rosa, Santo Domingo, Talavera, Talugtug
and Zaragoza, and the cities of Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz and Palayan.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
distributes cash cards to the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino
Program (4Ps); together with Gabaldon Mayor Dominador Mandia and DSWD Regional
Director Minda Brigoli. The program is a poverty reduction strategy that
provides grants to extremely poor households with children aged 0-14 to
improve their health, nutrition and education at the Gabaldon Plaza in
Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija last October 4.
proposes expansion of POC for campaign vs. building along waterways
Gov. Aurelio Umali is pushing
for the expansion of the membership of the Peace and Order Council to address
the building of houses along waterways.
Umali made the proposal in
the light of the evacuation of hundreds of people in low lying areas to
escape the flooding brought by the continuous rains from typhoons Ondoy
Umali said aside from the
current POC members that include the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office
(NEPPO), Philippine Army (PA) and the Department of Interior and Local
Government (DILG), the council should also involve the National Irrigation
Administration (NIA), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and
He said that local government
units should also be asked to exercise political will to address the problem
of building houses along rivers, creeks and irrigation canals.
Umali said that the POC,
which is primarily concerned with the maintenance of peace and order, is
intertwined with the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC).
He also asked for updates
on the geo-hazard report on several areas in Nueva Ecija to guide local
government units in land use and development planning. ###
continues to monitor prices of basic goods
The Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) office in Nueva Ecija continues to monitor the prices of
basic commodities after the province was declared a calamity area.
Brigida Pili, DTI provincial
director, said that three local businessmen have been charged with violating
the Price Tag Law, while some 32 vendors were caught with defective weighing
Pili assured local consumers
that the prices of basic commodities continue to be stable. She said that
her office had conferred with dealers of construction materials to assure
that they comply with the proper pricing of their products. ###
slips down a creek, drowns
A five year old girl slipped
down a creek and drowned while walking with his mother and sibling last
October 5 in Barangay D.S. Garcia, Cabanatuan City.
Supt. Efren Ramos, city police
chief, identified the victim as Alma May Milan Francisco of Purok Alitaptap,
Barangay D.S. Garcia.
At about 5:00 PM, the girl,
her mother and a sibling were walking along the Sapang Buhay Creek when
the victim slipped and fell into the waterway where she was swept by the
It took one hour before the
girl's body was retrieved. ###
rams 7 block rosary participants
Seven block rosary participants
died when they were rammed by a jeep which had been bumped by a Mitsubishi
Adventure on the night of October 4 along the Lupao-San Jose Road in Barangay
Santo Niño 1st, San Jose City.
Supt. Sidney Villaflor, city
police chief, identified the victims as Valerian Pregillana, 68; Evelyn
Macalinao; Ronald Paroche; Kimberly Deramayo, 13; Erlinda Paroche, 61;
Marites Bustamante, 50 and Helen Fontanilla, all residents Santo Niño
Investigation showed that
at about 7:30 PM, the Mitsubishi Adventure driven by Don Davy Evangelista
Aquino, 51, of Zone 4, Barangay Santo Niño 2nd, bumped the jeep
owned by Luis Agustin Avanzano of Barangay Porais, which at the time was
The impact pushed the jeep
hurtling towards the victims which at the time were holding a block rosary
The victims were taken to
the San Jose General Hospital for treatment and were later declared out
of danger. ###
stabs cousin dead
A 21 year old man stabbed
his cousin dead after he caught him raping his live in partner in Sitio
Garcia, Barangay Santo Cristo Norte, Gapan City last September 30.
The fatality was identified
as Alvin Genete Garcia, 21, single, of Sitio Lupang Pangarap, Barangay
Pambuan, Gapan City.
Investigation by PO3 Gregorio
Peñamante, Jr. showed that Garcia visited his cousin Anthony
Garcia Manapat and the two had a drinking session. At about midnight, Manapat
went out of the house to catch fish and frogs to cook as their appetizers.
Upon returning home, he saw Garcia raping his live in partner. The suspect
repeatedly stabbed the victim and then fled. ###