By Azer Parrocha
RELIEF EFFORTS. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with local officials of Negros Occidental, uniformed personnel, and officials from the national and local based government agencies to assess the extent of Typhoon Odette’s damage as well as discuss the response and relief efforts of concerned government agencies at the Kabankalan City Hall in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental on Dec. 20, 2021. Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles confirmed on Tuesday (Dec.21) that Duterte has committed to raise an additional PHP10 billion for provinces severely affected by “Odette.” (Presidential photo by Arman Baylon)
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has committed to raise an additional PHP10 billion for provinces severely affected by Typhoon Odette.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles confirmed this on Tuesday after Duterte visited on Monday the typhoon-hit victims in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
“President Duterte also vowed to raise additional funds, estimated at PHP10 billion, for the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the typhoon-affected areas,” Nograles said in a Palace statement.
Duterte earlier committed PHP2 billion for Odette-hit provinces in his visit to Leyte and another PHP2 billion after his visit to Cebu and Bohol.
In a situation briefing in Kabankalan City, Duterte provided guidance and issued several directives to national agencies to address the immediate concerns of the local governments of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
He directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to continuously provide family food packs and water and shelter assistance for families with damaged houses.
Housing assistance will be provided by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Housing Authority to victims whose homes were partially and totally damaged, he said.
The Department of Trade and Industry was tasked to look into and monitor reports of price hikes, including generators, which are reportedly being sold at twice their usual prices.
Agricultural assistance will be distributed by the Department of Agriculture for affected farmers and fisherfolk, he added.
The Department of Public Works and Highways was ordered to clear uprooted trees along the roads and highways and to turn over these logs to the local government units for use as housing construction materials, as well as provide the needed support for river dredging as soon as funds are available.
Upon Duterte’s instruction, the Department of Energy will work double time to restore power supply in affected areas as soon as possible.
He ordered the Department of Information and Communications Technology to also work double time to restore telecommunication networks and internet connectivity in affected regions.
Duterte, likewise, gave instructions to immediately complete the construction of the Kabankalan airstrip.
Meanwhile, Nograles said the Palace extends thoughts and prayers to all the families affected by the typhoon.
He also thanked Filipinos for helping others in this time of great need as well as the friends in the international community and partners for their show of support, solidarity, and readiness to extend assistance to the Philippines. (PNA)