Food shortage prompts flood-hit family to eat rats

Posted at 08/10/12 9:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of families from the flood-ravaged town of Calumpit in Bulacan are staying in barangay halls and a church that now serve as evacuation centers.

Several evacuees appealed for more aid as food supply is running out.

“Sana bigyan niyo kami ng pagkain, tubig na pang inumin at kung maaari ay mga gamot,” said one evacuee.

Due to the food shortage, a family in Calumpit is now resorting to eating rats.

William Elijah caught two rats in the flood, which he said he will bring home to his father.

“Pinukpok ko ‘yung daga. Lulutuin namin, gagawing adobo,” he said.

Calumpit Mayor James de Jesus also called on the national government to send relief goods for some 23,000 families now staying at evacuation centers.

“Very limited ang aming calamity fund, hindi kayang suplayan ng food packs and 23,000 families. Doon sa punto na ‘yun ay nananawagan tayo sa national government, nandito na naman po ang problema. Bagamat napaghandaan na ‘yung sa evacuation at sa rescue, ‘yung sa relief ay napakalaking problema nito,” he told ANC’s “Top Story” on Friday.

De Jesus said some families refused to leave their homes despite the deep floods, but noted that around 1,500 families have been rescued.

“Hinihimok namin sila lumikas pero ayaw nila dahil sa evacuation center daw eh nagkakahawa-hawa lang ng sakit,” said Lamberto Silvestre, team leader of the Bulacan rescue.

The floodwaters did not subside because water from nearby Ipo and Angat dams and from the mountains of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija flowed into Calumpit.

"Kung sa Maynila ay tapos na ang baha, nagsisimula palang ang baha sa amin," de Jesus said.

Floods were already neck-deep Friday afternoon in Barangay Bulusan, Sta. Lucia and Calizon.

But in some areas, the waters are now higher than a person.

President Benigno Aquino III visited Bulacan on Friday and pointed out the need for a coordinated government effort to mitigate flooding in the province. -- With reports from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News; ANC