Back to normal after ‘Basyang’

A DAY after tropical cyclone “Basyang” (international codename: Conson) devastated parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, people were back to their normal routines yesterday.

While most families in evacuation centers started to return to their homes, employees and students in most offices and schools returned to their work and classes.

In Manila, parents brought children to schools while workers took the Light Rail Transit, which was paralyzed by “Basyang” on Wednesday, to work.

Sanitation crew collected fallen branches and leaves from trees that felt the wrath of “Basyang.”

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said residents in Isla Puting Bato and Baseco Compound in Tondo who were evacuated Wednesday had started going back to their homes.

“Unti-unti umuuwi ang sa Del Pan. Sa Malolos, Camarines Norte unti-unti na umuuwi rin. Pero di siguradong uuwi ang sa Laguna kasi mataas ang tubig sa bahay nila gawa ng malapit sa lawa,” Soliman said.

She said her department set up at least 20 evacuation centers and serviced 433 families or 1,911 people in Bicol, Metro Manila and Southern and Central Luzon.

Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) said that despite the damage caused by “Basyang,” prices and supply of rice in affected provinces remain stable.

NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez said his office has been monitoring the prices and supply of rice.

“Maraming bigas sa market at ang presyo ay di gumagalaw,” Estoperez said.

At the DSWD, Soliman said she has started talks with potential “donors” in times of disaster.

Talks with the League of Corporate Foundations for possible assistance during emergencies were already held, she said.

“Wala pa kaming [Memorandum of Agreement] na napipirmahan. Tuloy ang pakikipag-usap ko sa iba’t ibang samahan ng pribadong sektor sa ating bansa,” she said.

She said she is also into talks with United Nations agencies that can provide assistance if the damage caused by typhoons or other calamities will be too big for the Philippine government to handle.

Soliman said she is not discounting the prospect of seeking help from outside in worst cases.

“Tuloy ang pakikipag-usap sa UN agencies na maaring makakatulong kung halimbawa mangangailangan,” she said. Julian Labores

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