The Philippine government continues to mobilize resources to assist affected population and localities while initial assessment of damages brought about by typhoon Rolly is on-going.
In a press briefing on November 2, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. thanked fellow Cabinet members for their immediate action with regard to their typhoon preparation and response efforts.
“Ito’y nagpapakita po ng kahandaan ng buong gobyerno ng ating administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na tumugon sa pangangailangan ng taong-bayan sa panahon ng aberya,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace spokesman also expressed gratitude to the Filipino people for cooperating in the government’s pre-disaster efforts and government workers for their services rendered to affected families and individuals. “Nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng mga taong-gobyerno na gumanap sa kanilang katungkulan na magbigay ng tulong sa ating mamamayan, at nagpapasalamat din po kami sa publiko sa kanilang kahandaan na naging dahilan na nabawasan po ang danyos na dulot ng super typhoon Rolly,” Sec Roque said.
In today’s press briefing, held at the headquarters of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), several Cabinet members and other government officials provided updates on each department’s/agency’s response efforts to typhoon Rolly.
NDRRMC Executive Director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad reported that based on initial reports and assessments, typhoon Rolly affected 372,653 families composed of 2,068,085 individuals in 12 affected regions. There were also 10 deaths and 1 injury that were initially reported to the NDRRMC. Usec Jalad also mentioned that there are 5,404 schools that were used as evacuation centers in the regions affected.
On the part of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the forced evacuations done by affected LGUs helped minimize the number of casualties. He also assured that local chief executives are supervising the response efforts and assessment of damages. Sec. Año also said that search and rescue personnel were deployed and were on standby, including assets of the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Meanwhile, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi reported that they are addressing the restoration of power of some 8,500 households that are currently without power, as the whole of Bicol Region is still without electricity. The DOE also assured that there is sufficient supply of oil products, with 22 days of inventory of refined petroleum products in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 8, NCR, and CARAGA as of October 29.
On the status of roads and bridges, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar reported that there are 15 national road sections currently closed to traffic due to typhoon Rolly. Sec.Villar said that DPWH assets have been deployed for road clearing operations and that the department is currently assessing damages to government infrastructures.
For the Department of Health, Secretary Francisco Duque III said that there is no need for RT-PCR testing for responders as long as they do not have COVID-19 symptoms and were not exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan meanwhile reported that the DSWD has already distributed family food packs and non-food items worth more than P164,000 to the province of Albay.
For the Philippine National Police (PNP), Deputy Chief for Operations Police Lieutenant General Ceasar Hawthorne Binag said that there are 1,125 PNP personnel that were deployed in evacuation areas and 538 personnel patrolling in evacuated communities.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay reported that AFP search, rescue, and retrieval operations supported the evacuation of 371,564 families/337,881 individuals from 1,558 barangays in 14 affected provinces.
For the agriculture and fisheries sector that were also affected by typhoon Rolly, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar assured farmers and fisher folks of assistance in the form of rice and corn seeds and vegetables for the farmers, and tilapia and milkfish fingerlings, as well as fishing gears and paraphernalia for the fisher folks. Sec. Dar said that the DA still has a quick response fund amounting to P400 million for the rehabilitation of affected areas. ### OPS-PCOO