The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and Maasin City in Southern Leyte yesterday to personally assess the damage caused by typhoon Odette.
In his meeting with the local officials of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, the Chief Executive designated the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development to act as the crisis manager in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. Secretary Rolando Bautista will be assisted by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
President Duterte gave the following directives to Sec. Bautista and Usec. Jalad, to wit: (1) facilitate the delivery and transport of food and non-food items to affected areas, (2) ensure immediate and stable delivery of food supply and water to the devastated areas, (3) deliver tents and tarpaulins to these affected areas within 24 hours, and (4) implement food-for-work and cash-for-work programs to aid typhoon victims, as necessary.
The President likewise directed the use of all government resources to ensure that the goods are delivered as soon as possible. Having said this, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard will send their boats and ships to augment the immediate delivery of needed supplies, equipment and food in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. Also, the BRP Ang Pangulo will likewise be sent to Dinagat Islands and Siargao to act as floating hospital as the typhoon damaged the hospitals in these areas and medical personnel need augmentation to treat the injured and those with medical needs. The Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command likewise committed to send medical teams onboard the two Navy ships to augment the health personnel in Siargao and Dinagat Islands.
The Department of Health, meanwhile, commits to send needed medical supplies and augment health personnel in Dinagat Islands.
Upon the instruction of the President, the Maritime Industry Authority will immediately assess the seaworthiness of vessels in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands to add more mobility in the delivery of food and supplies to these areas.
After his visit to Surigao del Norte, PRRD proceeded to Maasin City in Southern Leyte where he was briefed on the situation of the province.
In Southern Leyte, the President directed the Department of Agriculture to provide boats and seedlings to affected fisherfolks and farmers.
He likewise asked the National Housing Authority and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to provide necessary assistance to affected families who lost their houses or got their houses damaged.
The Chief Executive also instructed the Department of Energy to expedite the return of power to affected areas and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to immediately augment mobile cellsites to affected areas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development, meanwhile, has been directed to ensure prompt and continuous distribution of relief goods to affected families.
As the whole government acts with dispatch to assist typhoon-affected areas and residents, we call on everyone to pray for those who perished, those who are still missing, and those who got injured for their swift recovery. Let us all extend kindness, generosity and compassion to our kababayans who are in need.