Search, retrieval operations
for missing persons suspended
BY GILBERT BAYORAN
The search and retrieval operations of the Philippine Army for the 60 persons still missing in La Libertad and Guihulngan City, in Negros Oriental, have been suspended because of the recurrence of landslides, that buried some areas where they had been digging for almost two weeks now, Lt. Col. Ramil Bitong, 11th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.
Bitong, however, said that although the retrieval operations was suspended the troops of the 32nd Division Reconnaissance Company and 11th IB Bravo Company, are still deployed in the landslide areas of Brgy. Planas in Guihulngan City, and Brgy. Solonggon, La Libertad.
Bitong said there are still 38 missing persons in La Libertad, and 22 in Guihulngan City, bringing to 60 those who remain unaccounted for. Records of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council showed the death toll from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Feb. 6 stood at 43, as of yesterday.
The Government Service Insurance System is allocating P164 million for emergency loans to government employees affected by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Negros Oriental the hardest, a Philippine Information Agency press release said.
GSIS Dumaguete City Branch Manager Cecile Tenaja said the new emergency loan offer is in response to the urgent needs of members in times of calamities and is part of its agency’s corporate social responsibility.
“We requested for the reopening of the EML grant for qualified employees who have not yet availed of the previous emergency loan offer, especially those coming from the quake-affected areas,” Tenaja said.