Duterte to visit more typhoon-ravaged areas

President Rodrigo Duterte is “determined” to visit more areas ravaged by Typhoon Odette, a Palace official said on Sunday.

On Saturday, Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of some of the areas hit by Typhoon Odette covering Siargao, Surigao City, Dinagat Islands, and Maasin City in Southern Leyte.

Asked if Duterte will push through with his visit in other areas, acting presidential spokesperson Secretary Karlo Nograles did not give a definite answer but noted that the President is keen on pushing through with his plan.

“I’m still verifying ano iyong details niyan with his close-ins. Pero ano naman si Pangulo eh, desidido naman siyang bumisita kagaya ng pagbisita niya sa Caraga at sa Leyte kahapon. Eh today, gusto niyang bisitahin naman sa west (I’m still verifying the details with his close-ins. The President is determined to visit just as he visited Caraga and Leyte yesterday. Today he wants to visit the west),” he said in an interview over DZBB.

“Sabi niya, tapos na ako sa east, nakipag-usap na ako sa mga governors ng sa east, dito na po siya, pa-west na daw siya (He said, I’m done with the east, I have spoken to governors from the east, now he’s going west),” he added.

As of Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported four confirmed deaths due to “Odette” while another 27 are still being validated.

In a situation briefing on Typhoon Odette in Maasin City, Leyte on Saturday, Duterte ordered the use of all government assets to expedite the delivery of relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas ravaged by the typhoon.

“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,” Nograles said.

Currently, all hands are on deck in executing necessary responses to communities affected by the typhoon.

The NDRRMC said 181,500 families residing in 2,209 barangays were affected by Odette.

Humanitarian assistance

The Philippine Navy (PN), through Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM), has deployed its humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) team to Surigao City.

In a news release on Sunday, the PN said the team has brought essential relief items for affected residents and will establish an advance command post in Surigao City for control and organization of the Navy’s HADR efforts in the area.

NFEM earlier conducted initial flights on Dec. 17 for aerial survey to check and assess the condition of seaports and airports in the area.

BRP Hilario Ruiz (PC378) and BRP Rafael Pargas (PC379), under the operational control of NFEM, ferried 26 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) on Dec. 18.

Before the ferry, the personnel of PC379 repaired the charging station at Dinagat Port on Dec 17, to the relief of the local residents and LSIs. The charging station incurred damage during the storm’s passage.

PC379 also rendered assistance by letting the LSIs charge their electrical devices from the ship’s power.

Both Navy vessels conducted area assessments in the seaports of Surigao City, Dinagat and Siargao Island on Dec 17.

The NFEM continues to coordinate with the LGUs of Butuan, Surigao, Siargao and Dinagat Island and render assistance to the affected residents.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy is also coordinating with cognizant government agencies, non-government organizations and civil society organizations for the consolidation of relief items for the affected areas.

The PN is ready to deploy several vessels namely BRP Tarlac (LD601), BRP Ang Pangulo (ACS25), BRP Bacolod City (LC550), BRP Iwak (LC289) and BRP Agta (LC290) for HADR efforts of the government.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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