President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced Saturday the creation of a task force that will speed up rehabilitation efforts in communities devastated by successive typhoons that hit the country.
The task force will be composed of representatives from different government agencies, President Duterte said in a public address.
“Binibigyan ko sila ng timeline para gumawa ‘yang mga hakbang na ‘yan na walang delay at i-cut ‘yung red tape para mabilis ang takbo ng tulong sa tao. Sa madaling sabi, gusto ‘yung task force na magbigay kaagad ng relief assistance sa affected — kayong mga tao,” he said.
“At itong lahat na ito masasabi natin sa isang salita, one word that the — ‘yung tulong will be coming, that may panahon sila ibigay para mapadali ‘yung tulong.”
The President said personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were deployed to conduct search and rescue operation in areas submerged by Typhoon Ulysses.
The Chief Executive said government air assets are on standby and could be dispatched once they are given orders to fly.
“Dalawang helicopter na ibinigay ng — ipinahiram ng NOLCOM, at kung kailangan pa, ‘yung mga helicopter natin dito naiwan, ipapadala ko para sa pagtulong sa tao lalo na ‘yung nasa bubong,” he said.
“Kung nandiyan pa at madalian, ngayon pag-alis ko, tatawag ako sa Air Force kung mga ilang eroplanong mapadala nila — ‘yung helicopter para makatulong,” he added.
The provinces of Cagayan and Isabela were hit by massive floods after Typhoon Ulysses dumped tremendous amount of rain.
According to Cagayan local officials, the flooding was also triggered by the release of water from Magat Dam as well as by heavy siltation in the region’s waterways. PND