President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and other government officials, yesterday visited the victims of Typhoon Odette in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
The President was given a situation briefing by Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose “Bong” Lacson, after which the President provided guidance and issued several directives to national agencies to address the immediate concerns of the local governments of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
First, the Department of Social Welfare and Development will continuously provide family food packs and water and shelter assistance for families with damaged houses.
Second, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Housing Authority will provide housing assistance to victims whose homes were partially and totally damaged.
Third, the Department of Trade and Industry will look into and will monitor reports of price hikes, including generators, which are reportedly being sold at twice their usual prices.
Fourth, the Department of Agriculture will provide agricultural assistance for affected farmers and fisherfolk.
Fifth, the Department of Public Works and Highways will 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.
Sixth, the Department of Energy will work double time to restore power supply in affected areas as soon as possible.
And seventh, the Department of Information and Communications Technology will likewise work double time to restore telecommunication networks and internet connectivity in affected regions.
In addition to these directives, the Chief Executive gave instructions to immediately complete the construction of the Kabankalan airstrip.
President Duterte also vowed to raise additional funds, estimated at P10-Billion, for the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the typhoon-affected areas.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected by this natural calamity. We thank our people for showcasing the Filipino bayanihan spirit in helping our kababayans in this time of great need. We likewise express our sincere gratitude to our friends in the international community and partners for their show of support, solidarity, and readiness to extend assistance to the Philippines.