MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is satisfied with the performance of government in responding to victims of the magnitudes 5.4 and 5.9 earthquakes that rocked Batanes Saturday morning, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte thinks concerned government agencies were able to provide immediate assistance to both injured and displaced individuals
“Oo, dahil ready din naman tayo di ba, meron tayong mga ahensya ng gobyerno na pinaghandaan yan. Kaya nga kahit na nagkaroon tayo ng mga sakuna eh nagkaroon kaagad ng response ang pamahalaan (Yes, because we’re ready, we have government agencies who have prepared for that. That’s why even during disasters, government provides immediate response),” Panelo said in an interview over DZIQ.
Panelo said government will prioritize providing food, medicine, and other hospital needs to those injured and displaced during the quake and later proceed with rehabilitation.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, in a statement, also ensured that government will continue to provide medical services to those injured and displaced by the quake, particularly residents of Itbayat — the town hit hard by the natural calamity.
“The government’s priority now is to ensure that those injured in the earthquake, as well as the families displaced by it, are given adequate medical care,” Nograles said.
While the Itbayat District Hospital suffered minimal cracks, Nograles said it was still fully functional and would be able to attend to peoples’ needs.
Nograles, meanwhile, advised Itbayat residents against returning to their homes for the meantime given the state of structures on the island and the possible damage that can be caused by aftershocks.
He said tents, water, hygiene kits, and medicine will be provided by the government to these families.
As of 7 p.m. Saturday, Nograles said that the casualty count included nine confirmed deaths, one missing person, 63 injured, and 752 displaced households. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com