NFA holds rice in Eastern Samar amidst Typhoon Urduja pounding

Tacloban City – Eastern Samar Acting Governor Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal claimed that the National Food Authority (NFA) is withholding the release of rice to the province in the midst of disaster response as the province is still placed in Signal # 2 and is being pounded by heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Urduja. 
Salcedo town proper is in flooded state since Thursday due to incessant rain brought about by Tropical Storm Urduja. Almost all barangays in the town are already underwater, Mayor Melchor Mergal said. (Photo credit: PNP Eastern Samar)

In a public statement, Picardal said that the regional office of NFA, for no clear reasons has not given its approval to release the needed amount of rice to the province despite an existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the provincial government and the rice agency of the government. 

“This MOA is totally useless,” Governor Picardal said in disappointment. 

 According to the provincial chief, the NFA provincial office has already prepared the goods but could not release the items while the regional office is yet to give its go signal. 

The provincial government, Picardal said, has already prepared check for payment of the said rice goods. “We just don’t know why they are withholding it from us,” he said. 

The Eastern Samar Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO), in its initial assessment, said that there are 4,054 families in 52 barangays are affected by the incessant rains brought by Typhoon Urduja. 

208 families have already been evacuated and local disaster risk reduction goups are already prepared to evacuate more families should the situation worsens. 

Meanwhile, Congressman Ben Evardone of the Lone District of Eastern Samar, announced late Thursday evening that the national road along Brgy. Paya, Giporlos town is already passable with one lane cleared of landslide. 

Picardal said that the province practically is isolated due to flooded highways and landslides. The northern access road is also not passable as of press time with the flooding in Matarinao inTaft town and landslide in Libas, San Julian. (BMA)

Landslide in Brgy. Paya, Giporlos town rendered the national highway unpassable on Thursday. The debris was cleared at around 8pm, the same day. (Photo credit: Rowel Montes)

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