CEBU — Four non-working wharves, non-available RORO ships, and ships run aground pose delivery difficulties for bulk donations intended for those affected by category-5 typhoon Odette here, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Thursday.
“Kailangang-kailangan ng tubig, pagkain, gasolina, kuryente, transport at komunikasyon dito sa Cebu. Sa tubig, Metro Cebu Water District cannot provide water yet so deepwell pa ang source,” Pangilinan said after speaking with several local government officials and residents on the post-disaster situation in the province.
“Sa Olango Island, tourism at fishing ang kinabubuhay ng mga tao. Hirap magpadala ng relief goods dahil hindi kaya ng chopper, kailangan ng barko. Ang problema, apat na wharf ang down, walang available na RORO, at nangangamba silang baka magka-oil spill dahil doon sa 42 na nabalahaw na barko,” he said after conferring with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.
Pangilinan said he will contact Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella to ask that Cebu’s fuel supply be assured so that generator sets for water refilling, phone charging, and other activities may be done even as electricity is still out.
“Naging charging station ang mga city hall na napuntahan natin dahil wala pang kuryente ang malaking bahagi ng Mega Cebu,” he said.
The senator said that in the middle of all the depressing news, the good news is that there has not been any Covid case monitored the past 14 days.
“Masaya na sana ang Pasko pero parang pilit tayong sinusubok ng pagkakataon. Bigla namang dumating si Odette. At meron pa raw anim na taong missing, kasama na ang isang boatman,” he said.
Pangilinan said he will get in touch with the Departments of Agriculture on assistance to fisherfolk whose boats were smashed to bits by Odette, of National Defense for Navy assistance on the beached ships, of Energy on getting fuel to the area while power infrastructures are restored, and private telecommunications companies Globe and Smart for phone and internet signals in the affected areas.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes told Pangilinan that 34,000 of his constituents were affected, of whom seven died; 13,926 structures were damaged, of which 7,500 were completely damaged. He said 58 ships in his area ran aground.
“Kailangang-kailangan din sa Mandaue ay tubig, kuryente, at syempre pagkain,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan, who visited several areas in the province with his wife Sharon on Thursday, called on concerned government agencies to speed up repair works in the affected seaports to make them serviceable to vessels arriving with food packs, water, and other donations to families impacted by the calamity.
“The government should pick up the pace in making the seaports functional so that assistance could get to our people urgently needing food, water and other supplies,” he said.
“With their present condition, we have to bring everything to the devastated areas from bulldozers and generators to tents and food and medicine. The people have nothing left with them,” he added.