Pangasinan province flooded, food shortage foreseen

MANILA, October 9, 2009—The entire province of Pangasinan, one of the country’s most populous provinces (2,645,395 at the latest census) reels from floodwaters brought about by typhoon Pepeng and worsened with spilling of flood waters from nearby dams.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz said he is praying government authorities would stop releasing water from any dam, “especially San Roque dam.”

Interviewed by CBCPNews, the prelate said the rain has stopped and floodwaters have begun to subside.

Asked of the archdiocese’s response to the calamity, Cruz said “all the church disaster funds of the four vicariates have been released as of today.”

Central Pangasinan is still without electric power. Bangus is now sold at P 30.00 a kilo due to the floods.

For his part, Alaminos Bishop Marlo M. Peralta said several parishes in his diocese have been affected by floods.

“Our Social Action Center is on standby and will be ready to provide assistance to affected residents in due time,” the prelate told CBCPNews.

He added while most of the residents would need food and medicines, priority will be given to affected parishes in western Pangasinan. Floods have been reported in Aguilar, Bugallon and parts of Bolinao town.

The Diocese of Alaminos also launched its relief campaign for “Ondoy’s” victims in Metro Manila and nearby provinces but will now raise their own relief goods for the affected residents.

Urdaneta Bishop Jacinto A. Jose said most of the farmers in eastern Pangasinan will have a bleak Christmas considering the damage to rice crops brought about by floods.

“The floods affected the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Natividad, San Nicolas, Santa Maria, Umingan along with Rosales, Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Alcala,” the prelate said in an interview with CBCPNews Friday afternoon.

He said they were able to generate relief goods scheduled to be shipped to Manila to help “Ondoy’s” victims but will have to distribute them to local residents who need help instead.

“It will be difficult for farmers to recover because most of them are about to harvest palay in less than a month,” he further said. (Melo M. Acuna)

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