Storm Ulysses could become typhoon before landfall in Bicol-Quezon area
TROPICAL storm Ulysses could intensify into a typhoon before making landfall on Thursday in the area of Bicol Region and Quezon province, weather bureau PAGASA said in its forecast on Monday. Ulysses was located 575 kilometers (km) east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar as of 10 a.m. Monday and moving northwest with maximum sustained winds of 65 km per hour and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. “It is likely that the winds and rainfall associated with this tropical cyclone will begin affecting portions of Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region beginning on Tuesday or Wednesday… Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal #1 may be raised over some localities in Bicol Region or Eastern Visayas as early as tonight (Monday) or tomorrow early morning in anticipation of the onset of strong breeze to near gale conditions,” PAGASA said.
Group calls for better insurance, post-harvest facilities in typhoon aftermath
A NON-GOVERNMENT organization (NGO) said actual damage to the agriculture sector due to typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) is much higher than government estimates, citing farmers’ losses in non-commercial crops as well as the overall impact on their lives. “When a farmer is affected by a typhoon, the damage sustained is not only on the crops he or she is tending to. The damage also affects the lives of affected farmers and fisherfolk such as their houses and belongings,” Tugon Kabuhayan convenor Asis G. Perez said in a virtual briefing on Monday. The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) official damage estimate as of November 6 was P3.01 billion. Mr. Perez, a former Bureau of Fisheries and Natural Resources national director, also said that the government and the private sector should work on better insurance coverage for farmers and fisherfolk. For typhoon Rolly, the DA has allotted P1 billion under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. that can be used by affected farmers. “The government and the private sector should work on developing better insurance coverage that will also include farmers who are not members or included in any insurance program,” he said. Further, Mr. Perez said farmers need assistance in terms of appropriate drying and post-harvest facilities for crops that could be gathered and saved before a typhoon hits. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave
3 dead, 64 wounded in national penitentiary riot
A RIOT broke out at the national penitentiary on Monday, leaving three inmates dead and 64 wounded. In a statement, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said the scuffle occurred around 8:30 a.m. at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison. Jail personnel were immediately deployed to control the incident, some of whom sustained minor injuries, BuCor said. Director-General Gerald Q. Bantag “is on top of the situation” and is closely monitoring the operating team, BuCor said. “Investigation will be conducted to identify the cause of the incident. Disciplinary measures will be imposed to those who are responsible,” the statement read. Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, who announced the casualty count via Viber messge to reporters, said he will direct the National Bureau of Investigation “to conduct a parallel investigation or expand its ongoing probe into the previous violence.” Another riot took place in October, where nine inmates were killed, seven others injured. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas