May 18, 2024

The city government will not declare a state of calamity in Baguio since its situation is “not as critical and serious” compared to those suffered by provinces in the Ilocos Region and other parts of Northern Luzon that were affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Egay.

Instead, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he will meet with other local officials and discuss the possibility of providing financial assistance to distraught provinces in the Cordillera due to Egay.

“The good news is gumalaw kaagad ang mga national agencies para magbigay ng tulong sa mga probinsiyang nasalanta ng bagyo,” he said.

As to the damage wrought by the howler in the city, the mayor said about 2,500 residents were evacuated to the city’s evacuation centers but most were already sent home as of July 30; about 70  houses were damaged (partially – 62, totally – eight); including 168 trees that were felled.

In a meeting on July 30 with Benguet Electric Cooperative representatives and other responders, Magalong said the utility firm informed him 89 percent of electricity in the city has already been restored.

Despite being on an official travel in the United States sanctioned by the Department of the Interior and Local Government during the height of the typhoon, Magalong assured he was not “missing in action” but was in constant contact with Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, who was the acting mayor then, and help the latter manage the situation in the city.

The mayor said despite his absence, other officials and responders handled the calamity efficiently and effectively.

Ginagawa po lahat ng ating gobyerno na maibalik po sa normal ang sitwasyon,” he said. – Gaby B. Keith