MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lauded officials of Guinobatan, Albay for conducting preemptive evacuation in areas badly hit by Super Typhoon Rolly, saying their early response saved many lives.
“You have to credit the foresight of the local officials that they warned the residents well and advanced and there was an evacuation way long before it actually happened. For that alone I’d like to thank the officials of Guinobatan,” he said in a televised Cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace.
Duterte also ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar to look into lahar mudflows which buried houses in Guinobatan.
“I think it’s the construction there are getting the raw materials from sa Guinobatan mismo at yun, every washout, water from the mountains, dadalhin talaga doon sa baba (it will be brought down). But, anyway sabi ko (I said), we will look into it, I will ask Secretary Villar and Secretary Cimatu, who would have a knowledge about these things, kung may magawa sila (if they can do something about it),” he said.
In response, Villar assured the President that he will personally look into the quarrying operations in Guinobatan, Albay.
“Personally, I will look into this, the issue on quarrying,” he said. “I will go there and to observe. We will act on this immediately.”
Duterte directed the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to ensure that there is clean water in areas ravaged by the typhoon.
“I am directing LWUA to help. Go there and help repair the water system. Walang tubig ang mga tao doon (the people have no water there) so let it not be…I want to know if there is somebody there already working on it,” he said.
Duterte also asked concerned agencies to provide food and cash assistance to affected residents.
“Kung may maibigay ang gobyerno, I was not sure, I was not categorical in the financial assistance but sabi ko pagkain aabot sa inyo (If the government can give something, I was not sure, I was not categorical in the financial assistance but I said food will be given to you),” he said.
The Cabinet meeting was held after Duterte visited Guinobatan to meet with residents severely affected by the super typhoon.
He also conducted an aerial inspection with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go in the areas badly-hit by “Rolly” particularly in Albay and Catanduanes.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will be conducting an aerial inspection in the regions of Bicol and Region 4-A (Calabarzon) composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes incurred the heaviest damage during the onslaught of typhoon.
Also affected are the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the National Capital Region (NCR).
‘Rolly’ has “exposed” a total of 12 regions and “affected” 372,653 families or 2,068,085 individuals.
A total of 108,555 families equivalent to 389,867 persons residing in NCR, CAR, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas were preemptively evacuated due to the typhoon. with reports from Ferdinand Patinio / PNA – northboundasia.com