Marcos orders quick aid to Aghon-hit areas

Marcos orders quick aid to Aghon-hit areas
Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos (Facebook)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday directed local government units and all relevant agencies to monitor the situation and provide necessary assistance to individuals affected by severe tropical storm “Aghon.”

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Marcos also urged Filipinos to remain safe and vigilant as “Aghon” continued to bring heavy rains and strong winds to several regions in the country.

As tropical storm “Aghon” continues to move across our country, I urge everyone in the affected areas to stay vigilant and prioritize your safety,” he said.

“The well-being of our people is our utmost priority. I have directed local government units, emergency services, and all relevant agencies to work tirelessly in monitoring the situation and providing necessary assistance,” he added.

The Chief Executive made the call on social media as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said “Aghon” made landfall over parts of Quezon province on 26 May.

LGUs and emergency services have been mobilized to offer immediate support to affected communities.

Essential supplies, including food and non-food items, are being distributed, and health services are on standby to address medical needs. Evacuation centers have been set up to provide shelter to those displaced by the storm.

“We are ensuring that food and non-food items, health services, and evacuation centers are all being mobilized to support affected communities,” Marcos said.


Based on the latest monitoring of PAGASA as of 8:21 p.m. on 26 May, “Aghon” has strengthened into a severe tropical storm.

Aghon’s center was estimated over the coastal waters of Mauban, Quezon, and is moving northeastward slowly with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center, gustiness of up to 130 km/h, and a central pressure of 992 hectoPascals.

As of press time, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS) No. 3 was raised in the eastern section of Quezon (Infanta, Real and Mauban), including the Polillo Islands (Panukulan, Burdeos, Patnanungan and Polillo), which may experience storm-force winds whose potential impacts are moderate to significant threats to life and property.

Meanwhile, TCWS No. 2 was hoisted over Aurora, the northern and central portions of Quezon (Alabat, Perez, Quezon, Gumaca, Lopez, Macalelon, General Luna, Unisan, Pitogo, Plaridel, Agdangan, Padre Burgos, Atimonan, General Nakar, Sampaloc, Pagbilao, Calauag, Lucban, City of Tayabas, Lucena City, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Dolores, San Antonio, Jomalig), Laguna, the eastern portion of Batangas (City of Tanauan, San Jose, Lipa City, Mataasnakahoy, Balete, Malvar, Santo Tomas, Cuenca, San Pascual, Batangas City, Ibaan, Padre Garcia, Rosario, San Juan, Taysan, Lobo), the eastern and central portions of Rizal (Jala-Jala, Pililla, Tanay, Cardona, Binangonan, Morong, Baras, Rodriguez, City of Antipolo, Teresa), and the northern portion of Camarines Norte (Santa Elena, Capalonga).

Gale-force winds are expected in these areas, whose potential impacts are minor to moderate threats to life and property.

According to PAGASA, there will be an occurrence of a minimal to moderate risk of storm surge within the next 24 hours over the exposed and low-lying coastal areas of Cagayan, Isabela, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Burias Island.

It noted that “Aghon” is seen to continue to move northeastward towards the Polillo Islands.

From Monday through the remainder of the forecast period, the storm is seen to gradually accelerate northeastward while intensifying and is forecasted to be a typhoon by Monday afternoon.

PAGASA, however, clarified that its possibility of being in a typhoon category over the sea east of Quezon is not ruled out.

Over 2K people affected

In a separate report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that more than 2,000 people have already been affected by severe tropical storm “Aghon.”

Their latest situation report showed that a total of 513 families, or 2,734 persons, were affected, of which 34 families, or 523 persons, were sheltered inside eight evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, 23 families of 65 people were pre-emptively evacuated. A total of 21 houses were also damaged, of which four were beyond repair.

Power interruptions also occurred in 46 localities, of which 27 were restored. No fatalities were recorded, but four injuries were reported, all of which were noted in the Bicol region.

The NDRRRMC said that over P59,000 worth of assistance has been provided to the affected population, which includes food packages and hot meals.

6K passengers stranded

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard said around 6,000 passengers and 800 rolling cargoes are still on hold in various seaports across the country due to “Aghon.”

Based on its monitoring, a total of 6,338 passengers, truck drivers, and cargo helpers, are stranded and taking shelter in Northeastern Mindanao, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Southern Tagalog regions.

The passengers who were stranded at Hagnaya Port in San Remegio, Northern Cebu were temporarily transferred to the San Remegio Sports Complex.

Some P1 million worth of aid has so far been extended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the families affected by Tropical Storm ‘Aghon’ in the Bicol region, an official of the Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) said.

“The DSWD is working tirelessly in coordination with LGUs to ensure the timely distribution of relief goods and other essential services to the affected population,” said Assistant Secretary for DRMG Irene Dumlao, who is also the DSWD spokesperson.

Dumlao said more than P972,000 worth of assistance from the DSWD and more than P316,600 from concerned local government units (LGUs) have been extended to the affected families from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

“The relief package includes food packs, hygiene kits, and other basic necessities to support the displaced families,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

Dumlao said the agency is closely monitoring the areas affected by tropical storm “Aghon” and coordinating with concerned LGUs to provide immediate and appropriate assistance.

Based on the latest DSWD-DRMG report, the tropical storm has affected a total of 6,542 families or more than 8,200 persons from 22 barangays in Bicol, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas regions.

Agri damage

In its initial forecast, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said tropical storm “Aghon” may affect nearly 200,000 hectares (ha) of combined rice and corn crop areas in the country.

Citing combined data of the affected regions of Cagayan Valley, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Caraga as of Friday, the DA said the area of standing crops that may be affected by “Aghon” is 199,268 ha, with 160,400 hectares for rice and 38,868 hectares for corn.

Daily Tribune