Baggao, Cagayan – The absence of electricity and the intense heat of the sun didn’t stop the Municipal Action Team (MAT) who yesterday joined the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in conducting assessment of damaged houses caused by Typhoon Ompong in this town.

The four-member MAT joined a team that also included staff coming from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The team was split into 4 teams that set up command posts in barangays’ Poblacion, Bagunut, Tallang and San Jose for efficiency in the assessment of houses.

Mr. Christian C. Nicolas, the MAT team leader and Municipal Link for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the municipality, said that cooperation between members of the MAT made the assessment of houses easier to accomplish.

“Nagtutulungan kami bilang isang grupo (MAT) para mabigyan ng serbisyo ang mga higit na nangangailangan,” Mr. Nicolas added.

Baggao, Cagayan was the hardest-hit area by the aforementioned typhoon, making landfall in the municipality at 1:40 AM of September 15, 2018 and leaving a trail of 1,964 totally damaged houses and 12,091 partially-damaged houses according to initial reports coming from the local government unit.

This figure is being assessed for veracity by the assessment team.

The field office was able to preposition a total of 300 family food packs before the landfall of Typhoon Ompong while augmenting an additional 3,300 food packs after the storm.

Field office staff continue to do response operations in the area, earlier setting up a communication service allowing locals free call and internet service while they await the restoration of electricity in the area, which was pegged to be completely restored by November. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Field Office II