CAMP GEN. SIMEON A. OLA, Legazpi City, — A housewife died while 23 other passengers swam to safety when their boat capsized after hitting a floating big piece of wood while cruising the Tipya River in Jovellar town, Albay, early Friday afternoon at the height of heavy rains in the province.
A report of Insp. Joreem Callos, Jovellar Municipal Police Office chief, identified the victim as Maricel Porteria, 30, and resident of Barangay San Roque in the said town.
Twenty-three other passengers were able to swim towards the riverbank.
Callos said the boat passengers were beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government who had just collected their payments from the town center and were on their way home to Barangay San Roque at about 12:30 p.m. when the accident happened.
He said that due to the heavy rains on Friday, the river water level rose beyond the normal level. While the boat was negotiating the river, it hit a piece of big wood, causing it to overturn and sink.
The passengers who swam towards the riverbank, however, did not know that Porteria was under the boat. She was found later by the responding residents already lifeless.
Callos said the river is the only way to reach Barangay San Roque from the town center
The police chief said it is only during high tide that the residents of Barangay San Roque can go to the town center as it is the only way out of the village.
The municpality of Jovellar is within the third congessional district, one of the poorest, in the province of Albay. (PNA)