by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

The rescue and relief operations in Bulacan province improved, particularly during the surge of the powerful Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) on the second week of August 2012, a Provincial Special Operations Officer said yesterday.

The Southwest Monsoon was already being monitored on July 23 to 30 when tropical storm Ferdie entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. It was being observed even before it gained strength from International storm Haiku on August 7.

July 23 pa lang binabantayan na ang Habagat, no’ng pumasok ang bagyong Ferdie,” said Bulacan Special Operations Officer Raul Agustin.

The number of municipalities affected by the monsoon rains and floods were 23, thus, Bulacan was declared under a state of calamity. The 23 towns were affected by flash flood, back flooding and immense dam releases.

A faster response and rescue was said to be done during the disaster by the Bulacan Rescue Teams, Local Government Unit Response Teams, Rescue 117, and the Philippine National Police. Military trucks, rubber boats and motor boats were dispatched and used in the rescue, coming from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and District II Congressman Pedro Pancho.

On August 12 to 15, massive relief operations took place in the whole province as ordered by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, wherein a total of 216,000 packs of goods were provided to critically-affected residents.

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