| Post Office Box 975 Baguio City 2600 Philippines

URGENT APPEAL for support for communities devastated by Supertyphoon Ompong (Mangkhut)

September 17, 2018

The Serve The People Brigade – Cordillera Disaster Response Network appeals for support for Cordillera communities ravaged by super typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut). In over 26 hours of strong winds and rains on September 14-15, super typhoon Ompong left extensive damages and destruction to communities, crops and other livelihood sources in Nothern Luzon, Philippines.

In the Cordillera region, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported as of 6:00 AM today the death toll at 54 (9 in Baguio City, 1 in Kalinga province, 6 in Mountain Province and 38 in Benguet – 34 in Itogon, 1 in Tuba and 3 in La Trinidad), 49 missing and 33 injured.

Some 81 landslides and 51 road closures due to landslides and fallen trees were recorded, which makes remote communities isolated. Power supply is being restored but majority of the provinces are still experiencing blackouts. Communication is functional in the provincial centers but there is difficulty in contacting farflung communities who may have been greatly affected. Baguio City and La Trinidad meanwhile experienced massive flooding. In Baguio, this was attributed to poor drainage systems and the increasing construction of high-rise buildings.

The deadliest landslide occurred in Itogon, Benguet, which buried several houses, an old bunkhouse of the Benguet Corporation Inc. and a chapel. 40-50 people were staying in the bunkhouse while the chapel housed evacuees during the height of the typhoon. Rescue operations and retrieval of bodies are still ongoing, with 34 dead and 42 still missing. As of this writing, eight people died from rescuing a family.

Most of the victims were small-scale miners and it is not fully known yet if the miners’ families were with them. Hence, it is feared that the number of deaths and missing people will rise to 100. More than 300 families from nearby communities evacuated until late afternoon of September 16. There Itogon landslide feared to have buried some 100 people, mostly small-scale miners. Photo by Andy Zapata Ongoing search and retrieval operations. Photo by Harley Palangchao are also 68 families from La Trinidad, Benguet that remain at evacuation centers, and 27 families in Irisan, Baguio City.

Itogon sits atop the century-old underground bulk mining operations of Benguet Corporation. Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan has immediately attributed the landslides in the town to mining. The continuing impact of climate change combined with the Cordillera’s loose soil, terrain and amount of rainfall make the region prone to landslides. And large-scale underground mining activities only make the situation worse. Massive landslides and ground subsidence in Itogon have been a recurrence during strong typhoons due to hollow undergrounds from mining operations.

The Serve the People Brigade (STPB) – Cordillera Disaster Response Network once again humbly appeals for your support in this time of emergency and disaster. STPB will be conducting relief mission, help in ongoing retrieval operations, and rehabilitation support. Any kind of help extended will go a long way in supporting victims of typhoon Ompong in the region.

For the relief missions and retrieval operations, we solicit the following:

Donations will be used for food-for-work in retrieval operations, for relief missions, immediate repair and re-construction of damaged houses, and damaged livelihood sources, including farmlands.

We also call for volunteers for the relief missions, and will appreciate the assistance and support of paramedics and medical practitioners. You may also lend your vehicles for the relief and rehabilitation missions.

For Financial, Material Donations and to Volunteer: Please visit us at No. 55 Middle Ferguson Road, Baguio City and look for Mr. Santi Mero, Serve the People Brigade Spokesperson and Cordillera Peoples Alliance Vice Chairperson for Internal Affairs or Ms. Bestang Dekdeken, CPA Secretary General.

Contact us through telephone number 63-74-422-9754, call or text mobile number +63 917 685 5886 or +63 917 155 1570, or reach us through email at

Financial donations may be channeled through bank (details) or through PayPal:
Name of Bank: Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
Bank Address: Session Road, Baguio City
Account Name: Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Inc.
Account Number: 1-326-72354-8
Swift Code: RCBCPHMM
Routing Code: 120280014

We thank you very much and look forward to your positive response to this urgent appeal.

Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera
Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services
Montanosa Research and Development Center

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