GUINOBATAN. Albay — Accompanied by Senator Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and a few Cabinet officials, President Rodrigo Duterte made an aerial and actual inspection of areas hard-hit by Typhoon Rolly, particularly in Catanduanes and Albay in Bicol Region.
The President landed in Guinobatan, Albay and personally met with severely affected residents of the area. Go said Duterte instructed concerned agencies to conduct an investigation on alleged quarrying operations in the area that residents complained about.
According to Go, Duterte has been working and monitoring round-the-clock developments related to the recent devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Rolly in the country, particularly in Bicol Region where the typhoon made its first landfall.
“If the President is in Mindanao, it does not mean he is not working. Our President is working 24/7 and he always makes sure our government agencies are ready to give immediate assistance in affected areas. The President wants us to be ready always),” Go said.
The Senator said government must now focus on providing immediate relief to affected communities and in restoring normalcy in those areas. He urged concerned agencies to work double time to ensure that critical services are restored, and immediate aid are delivered to communities needing vital support.
Go also reminded local government units to enforce strict social distancing and other health protocols in evacuation centers to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19 and other diseases. He said he will continue to push for his proposed measure providing for the creation of the mandatory evacuation centers in every province, city and municipality nationwide that will serve as temporary shelters for those who are displaced by natural and man-made disasters.
Aside from pushing the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act of 2019, Go said he is also strongly approval of the bill seeking the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) to ensure quick response and proactive and holistic approach in preparing for calamities and other natural disasters.
In Guinobatan, Duterte lauded local officials initiating preemptive evacuation which he said helped save many lives. “You have to credit the foresight of local officials who warned their residents well and for having evacuation centers way long before disasters actually happen. For that alone I’d like to thank the officials of Guinobatan,” he said.
In a subsequent Cabinet meeting in Malacanang, Duterte ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar to look into lahar mudflows which buried houses in Guinobatan. Villar assured him he will personally look into quarrying operations in the Albay municipality.
Duterte likewise directed the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to ensure there is clean water in areas ravaged by the typhoon. “I am directing LWUA to help. Go there and help repair the water system,” he said.
The Chief Executive also asked concerned agencies to provide food and cash assistance to affected residents. The Cabinet meeting was held after Duterte arrived from Bicol.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Albay and Catanduanes incurred the heaviest damage during the onslaught of typhoon.
Also affected are the the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the National Capital Region (NCR).
‘Rolly’ wrought devastation in 12 regions and “affected” 372,653 families or 2,068,085 individuals. Some 108,555 families consisting of 389,867 persons residing in NCR, CAR, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas were preemptively evacuated from Rolly’s wrath.