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The rehabilitation of Barangay Mangsee from damages caused by the 2017 Typhoon Vinta has been placed by provincial authorities at 70 percent completion rate.

Jeremias Alili, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) chief, said Friday that rehabilitation has been affected by the election ban but will resume in August.

“Okay naman ngayon kumpara noong una, nakabalik na sa normal ang Balabac. May mga kailangan na lang ayusin pero ‘yong schools ay ayos na, ‘yong mga bahay nila okay na rin. Nakapagdistribute na rin tayo ng mga shelter kits. Ayuda na lang din siguro doon sa mga nawalan ng hanapbuhay katulad ng mga bangka. Tuloy ulit ngayong August kasi nagkaroon nga ng elecion ban,” Alili said.

He said electrification phase will start in August.

“Before mag-election ay nai-process na ang electrification doon and siguro next month ay sisimulan na rin natin ‘yan,” he said.

In 2018, housing materials worth P18 million were distributed to 604 families whose homes were totally damaged by the typhoon.

“Kung titingnan mo ang recovery ngayon kumpara dati ay siguro nasa 70 percent na ‘yong kabuuang naayos. Pero ‘yang [figure na ‘yan] ay hindi lang naman totally dahil sa effort ng provincial government kundi dahil din sa taas ng capacity ng mga tao doon to go back sa normal na buhay. kunti nalang din [ang kailangan ayusin] ,” Alili pointed out.

Each family also received P30,000 financial assistance.

Alili said they received the assistance after a Post Disaster Analysis and Needs Assessment (PDANA) conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the provincial government confirmed that homes in Mangsee were “totally damaged.”

The housing materials include lumber, plywoods, galvanized iron sheets for roofing, and nails.

Food packs and hygiene kits were also provided during the 18-day post-disaster relief operation.

The distribution was led by Eduard Miagao of DSWD and representatives from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).

Additional help for those with “partially damaged” homes are also being processed.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has also donated P5-million to the victims.

The 23-hectare Mangsee Island (atoll) located in the southwest of Balabac, Palawan is the refuge for 10,000 seafaring people.

Ninety-five percent of the population are Muslims, he said.

Fishing and barter trading with neighboring merchants from Kudat, Malaysia are one of the important economic activities on the island.

In September 2018, relatives of the 40 fishermen who lost their lives when typhoon battered in December 2017 finally paid their last respects.

The 33 families traveled all the way from Navotas, Novaliches, and Bulacan to the island village eight months after the tragedy that killed their loved ones.

Alili also assured that their operations centers are all activated and ready to respond in any disaster.

“Ready na tayo and siguro katulad ng mga nangyari nakaraan kasama ‘yong nangyari sa Balabac ay maging lesson na ‘wag tayong kampante na walang darating na mga sakuna sa atin,” he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.