Malacañang on Sunday said President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the use of all government assets to expedite the delivery of relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by Typhoon Odette.
“Ang utos nga ni Pangulo (The President’s directive) is use all government resources to ensure that all goods are delivered as soon as possible especially sa (in the) province ng (of) Surigao del Norte at sa (and in) Dinagat Islands,” acting presidential spokesperson Secretary Karlo said in an interview over DZBB.
Nograles said Duterte designated Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista to act as the crisis manager to ensure government response is coordinated in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands.
Bautista will be assisted by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
The two officials will be tasked to facilitate the delivery and transport of food and non-food items to affected areas, ensure immediate and stable delivery of food supply and water to the devastated areas, deliver tents and tarpaulins to these affected areas within 24 hours, and implement food-for-work and cash-for-work programs to aid typhoon victims, as necessary.
As part of response efforts, Nograles said the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard will send their boats and ships to augment the immediate delivery of needed supplies, equipment and food in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands.
He said the BRP Ang Pangulo will likewise be sent to Dinagat Islands and Siargao to act as floating hospital as the typhoon damaged the hospitals in these areas and medical personnel need augmentation to treat the injured and those with medical needs.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command committed to send medical teams onboard the two Navy ships to augment the health personnel in Siargao and Dinagat Islands, he added.
Nograles said the Department of Health has committed to send needed medical supplies and augment health personnel in Dinagat Islands.
The Maritime Industry Authority, for its part, will immediately assess the seaworthiness of vessels in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands to add more mobility in the delivery of food and supplies to these areas.
In Southern Leyte, Nograles said Duterte ordered the Department of Agriculture to provide boats and seedlings to affected fisherfolk and farmers.
He likewise asked the National Housing Authority and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to provide necessary assistance to affected families who lost their houses or whose houses were damaged.
Duterte also instructed the Department of Energy to expedite the return of power to affected areas and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to immediately augment mobile cell sites to affected areas.
The NDRRMC said 135 areas in Mimaropa, Regions 7, 8, 10, and the BARMM are still experiencing communication outages.
The DSWD has been directed to ensure prompt and continuous distribution of relief goods to affected families.
Help on the way
Meanwhile, Nograles said Duterte has pledged some PHP2 billion worth of assistance to local governments of provinces hit by the typhoon.
On Sunday, the NDRRMC said 181,500 families residing in 2,209 barangays were affected by the onslaught of “Odette.”
Nograles assured individuals in provinces ravaged by the typhoon that help is on the way.
“Ang mensahe ko na lang sa lahat ng mga naapektuhan ng Typhoon Odette: Ginagawa po ng inyong pamahalaan ang lahat ng ating makakaya (My message to those affected by Typhoon Odette: The government is doing everything it can),” Nograles said.
In a press statement, he also appealed to the public to extend prayers to typhoon-hit communities.
“As the whole government acts with dispatch to assist typhoon-affected areas and residents, we call on everyone to pray for those who perished, those who are still missing, and those who got injured for their swift recovery. Let us all extend kindness, generosity and compassion to our kababayans who are in need,” he said.
On Saturday Duterte visited Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and Maasin City in Southern Leyte to personally assess the damage caused by typhoon Odette.
Despite admitting that government funds are “immensely depleted” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he assured that he is looking for funds for their aid.
Source: Philippines News Agency