President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and other government officials, inspected yesterday, December 19, 2021, the typhoon-affected areas in Cebu and Bohol.
In the Municipality of Argao, Cebu, the President interacted with the local government officials and evacuees in the area. He instructed Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo del Rosario to provide housing assistance to residents whose places of residence have been damaged by the typhoon.
President Duterte likewise instructed Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi to call on the private sector to help and encourage gas stations to open and operate. In addition, the DOE is working double time to restore energy in Cebu. At the time of the President’s visit to Cebu, electricity has been restored in some parts of Cebu for utilities such as hospitals, among others.
The Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, has allocated Php445.1-M to assist farmers and fisherfolks in the region who suffered heavily due to the damage caused by typhoon Odette.
The Chief Executive also visited the province of Bohol where he interacted with the local government officials and evacuees.
In the Municipality of Inabanga, Bohol, the President delivered a short speech, where he reiterated that a big portion of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council fund was utilized for the government’s COVID-19 response, including quarantine expenses for returning overseas Filipino workers.
President Duterte underscored that while the effects of the typhoon is devastating even as the country continues its battle against COVID-19, the government must help because people need help. He then committed that the national government will urgently provide for the needs of typhoon-hit areas and their residents, which include rice and water, construction materials for rebuilding of damaged houses, and housing assistance, with topmost priority given to the poor.
The President likewise conveyed that with the new budget for 2022, more funds can be utilized for response and recovery efforts.
As we continue to fully assess the damage brought by typhoon Odette to our people’s livelihood and property and to the local economy, let us remain united in the midst of adversity to help one another and exemplify the Filipino bayanihan spirit.