29 July 2023
Oxfam Pilipinas and partners raised concern over the thousands of people affected by Super Typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri), which lashed strong winds and dumped heavy rains in different parts of the country, particularly in Northern Luzon.
Latest data from the Social Welfare Department showed more than 500,000 people or 158,000 families were affected by the storm in 42 provinces across 12 regions in the country.
Based on initial reports, communities in Luzon suffered massive damages to agriculture such as corn, rice, livestock, and poultry, amounting to Php 53.1 million in just two days.
Oxfam Pilipinas Executive Director Erika Geronimo said Oxfam and its partner, the People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), are ready to assist with initial relief items such as sleeping materials and other non-food items.
Currently, the joint rapid assessment team of Oxfam Pilipinas and PDRRN are on their way to assess the situation of typhoon-affected communities in Cagayan province.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation since day zero and coordinating with different national and local government agencies to ensure that the immediate needs of the most vulnerable communities are addressed effectively. We are on standby to assist the government if needed.”Oxfam Pilipinas Executive Director Erika Geronimo
Several areas in Cagayan are currently affected by power outages. Initial information shared by PDRRN said most of the crops were damaged in the municipality of Baggao in Cagayan.
Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Mountain Province, and Cavite have already been placed under state of calamity following the devastation of Super Typhoon Egay.
“We expect the number of affected communities to rise as reports from other areas come in. We need to support the affected local government units and respond quickly to the needs of the worst-hit and most vulnerable as another storm threatens to affect disaster-hit areas in the next days, who have not yet recovered from the impacts of Egay.”PDRRN Executive Director Esteban Masagca
COVID-19 and Protection Risks
Oxfam Pilipinas also expressed the need to strengthen the health and safety protocols in evacuation centers, which might be disregarded and result to an increase of COVID-19 infections.
As of July 27, the health department reported 4,819 active cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks with Central Luzon (432), Calabarzon (369) and Ilocos Region (277) among the areas with the highest cases. All these areas were affected by Super Typhoon Egay.
“As we respond to the survivors’ immediate needs, we must not forget the looming risk of COVID-19 infections and other protection issues. Women and girls, for instance, are at a higher risk for gender-based violence in evacuation centers,” Geronimo added.
Oxfam Pilipinas is a humanitarian, development, and campaigning organization that has been working with partner organizations nationwide for 35 years for a just and equal future without poverty.
Among the advocacies of Oxfam Pilipinas and PDRRN is anticipatory action, which aims to provide pre-disaster financial aid and other pre-emptive measures in partnership with local governments and private sectors before a disaster strikes to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods.
Policy Advocacy and Communications Manager, Oxfam Pilipinas