President Rodrigo Roa Duterte instructed his Cabinet members to immediately provide assistance to affected individuals and local government units (LGUs) amid Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni), which is touted as the strongest typhoon in the world so far in 2020.
“On standby po lahat ng ahensya at departamento ng gobyerno. Ang mandato po ng Presidente, gawin ang lahat ng maisalba na naman ang ating mga kababayan dito sa trahedya ng bagyong Rolly,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr during a press briefing held on November 1, Sunday, at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
The Palace official said that the President had asked members of the Cabinet to be on call, especially those from departments that will be directly involved in providing assistance to those who will be affected by the typhoon.
“Ang Presidente na po ang nag-utos na magkaroon ng ganitong pagpupulong dito sa NDRRMC para masigurado na lahat ng pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan na nasalanta ng bagyo ay mabigay sa lalong madaling panahon,” said Secretary Roque.
Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC Executive Director, reported that an estimated 19.8 million people are predicted to be exposed to the typhoon in 12 regions of the country namely, Regions 1,2,3,4A, 4B, 5,6,7,8,9, CAR, and NCR.
Usec. Jalad said that some 96,543 families composed of 346,993 individuals that have been affected were already preemptively evacuated. Those who have been preemptively evacuated were from regions 3, 5, 8, NCR, CAR, and CALABARZON.
Meanwhile, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that individuals and staff from affected temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) were likewise evacuated and transferred to other COVID-19 isolation facilities.
Secretary Duque also assured that logistical support amounting to more than P26 million worth of drugs, medicines, medical supplies, health kits, including PPEs and other COVID-19 supplies have been prepositioned. Duque added that hospitals were already alerted to have critical life-saving equipment ready, and that health emergency response teams are on standby.
Duque also reminded LGU officials to assign safety officers in evacuation centers and limit the number of people in evacuation areas if possible, in light of the COVID-19 situation.
On the part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan affirmed that the department has standby funds and stockpiles worth 884 million that includes stockpiles like family food packs, other food items, and non-food items. Usec. Budiongan said that the DSWD and all its quick response teams in field and central offices are on standby and on-call and are ready to provide augmentation with LGUs.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, together with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay, assured that military troops and assets are on standby for any eventualities. Philippine National Police Chief Camilo Cascolan gave the same assurances saying the police have been deployed in evacuation areas.
On the part of LGUs, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said that LGU executives are monitoring the typhoon and the situation in their own localities and are supervising response activities.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez, ad Sta. Rosa, Laguna Mayor Arlene Arcillas provided updates on the situation in their localities and alerted government officials present in the said briefing on the assistance that they need from the national government. ### OPS-PCOO