MANILA — Two weeks after the onslaught of typhoon Odette, Bohol continues to suffer from power, water, and telecommunication outages, the province's governor said on Thursday, as he likened the calamity to super typhoon Yolanda.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said Odette affected even first responders, slowing relief and recovery efforts in the first few days after the typhoon struck.
"Napakahirap ng dinaranas namin dito sa lalawigan kasi parang mala-Yolanda talaga ang nangyari dito, na ang mga first responders namin, ang atong mga local government unit, lahat po dito tinamaan,"
(Our experience here in the province was difficult because it was like Yolada, in which our first responders, the local government units, everyone was affected.)
Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across central Philippines with its tsunami-like storm surges wiping out communities and triggering a global humanitarian response.
Yap continued, "Kaya for the first few days up to the first 6 to 7 days, iyong mga first responders talagang hirap na hirap to cope up dahil kailangan na alagaan din muna nila ang sarili nila, ayusin nila ang sitwasyon sa kanilang mga pamilya."
(For the first few days up to the 6th, 7th days, first responders found it hard to cope because they had to take care of themselves, fix their families' situation.)
"Tapos siyempre may issue pa na walang kuryente, wala pong koneksiyon sa power, walang koneksiyon sa telco, walang tubig," he said.
(And of course, there was no power connection, no telecommunication lines, no water.)
Yap said power has yet to be restored in Bohol. He said authorities could not give an exact date yet on when they could repair 2 towers that connect the province to its power source in Leyte.
"Naghihintay pa kami hanggang ngayon, so ang pag-asa na lang namin will be power-generating barges," the governor said in a televised public briefing.
"I think may magandang balita daw sila, but hihintayin kong sila na ang magsabi, kung matutupad natin iyong partial electrification dito sa Bohol nang Dec. 31," he said.
(We are still waiting until now, so our only hope will be the power-generating barges. I think they have good news, but I will wait for them to announce if we could achieve partial electrification here in Bohol by Dec. 31.)
But while the province still experiences blackouts, Yap noted that water refilling stations could not operate.
Authorities are looking for power generators and water pumps, he said.
Yap also mentioned that telecommunication lines continued to falter in 22 to 25 towns in Bohol. Their local governments are forced to send runners to the provincial Capitol each time they had an urgent message, he said.
Odette left 109 dead and 5 missing in Bohol, Yap said.
He said he received information the province will get P28 million from the Office of the President, P10 million in assistance for indigents, and P55 million from the National Housing Authority.
"We’re waiting for the transmission of these funds," he said.
The official also thanked private citizens who donated to typhoon survivors.
"Maski sa panahon ng Pasko ngayon na alam ko marami po sa inyo ang naghihirap din, na natamaan po sa COVID-19, hindi ninyo po nakalimutan ang Bohol at sana hindi ninyo pa makalimutan as we reconstruct and rebuild Bohol in the coming days," he said.
(Though it's Christmas, I know many of you are also suffering because of COVID-19, yet you did not forget Bohol, and I hope you would not forget us still as we reconstruct and rebuild Bohol in the coming days.)