State of calamity sought for 4 regions

A destroyed house in Baggao, Cagayan. (TVP image)

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has called for the declaration of a state of calamity in regions impacted by Typhoon Ompong to ease inflationary expectations.

“At this point, it’s difficult to predict in terms of figures what its (typhoon’s) impact on inflation is. One way to get ready is to manage expectations. One way of managing is to declare a state of calamity,” NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) member Adoracion Navarro said in a media briefing on Friday.

“With the President’s declaration of a state of calamity, then we will be able to impose price ceiling on basic necessities and prime commodities upon the recommendation of the implementing agency as provided for under Republic Act 7581, or the Price Act, or upon the recommendation of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC),” Navarro added.

Regions I, II, III and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) meets the conditions for being placed under a state of calamity, she said.

She cited regions’ damaged livelihood; roads and bridges; fishponds, crops, poultry and livestock, and other agricultural products; and lifeline systems, such as electricity, potable water system, transport system and communication system, which cannot be restored within one week.

“Our target in the NDRRMC is to send this (recommendation) immediately to the Office of the President… And then we will await for the actual declaration by the President of a state of calamity,” Navarro said.

Navarro said the NPCC can also monitor, prevent and control overpricing/profiteering and hoarding of prime commodities, medicines and petroleum products.

She also said the government can access international assistance as deemed necessary, and program/reprogram funds for the repair and safety upgrading of public infrastructure and facilities under a state of calamity.

As vice-chair for Rehabilitation of NDRRMC, NEDA takes the lead in formulating the Rehabilitation and Recovery Program for areas struck by disasters or calamities.

p: wjg