News Release

President Duterte extends assistance to Cotabato earthquake survivors

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the distribution of family food packs during his visit to the earthquake victims at the M'lang National High School in Cotabato on December 30, 2019. Assisting the President is Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

M’LANG, Cotabato—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, December 30, led the distribution of assistance to the communities affected by the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Cotabato last October 29, which damaged critical infrastructure and displaced several families.

Expressing his solidarity with the community, President Duterte turned over a check to the provincial government for the immediate relief of Cotabato. He also distributed food packs to affected families.

“Last October 29, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake terribly affected Cotabato. Not long after, another tremor occurred in the same area, damaging critical infrastructure and displacing several families,” the President said in his speech during the event held at the M’lang National High School here.

“These two succeeding earthquakes inevitably led to landslides and the collapse of major buildings, resulting in more deaths and injuries.”

President Duterte also expressed his condolences to the citizens of Cotabato who lost loved ones to the quake, vowing to extend full government assistance to help families get back on their feet.

At the same time, the President acknowledged the efforts of the local government of Cotabato as well as national government agencies for their quick response to assist the earthquake victims and their families.

The government has so far given out monetary assistance and other support such as shelter repair kits, medicines, generators, water containers, hygiene packs, food packs and tents to the victims and their families.

“I assure you that the government will continue to help all of you until you are able to get back on your feet and start anew with renewed hope and greater capacity to lead dignified lives,” he said.

For the families whose houses were destroyed by the earthquake, the National Housing Authority (NHA) will construct 7,000 units of shelters amounting to P1.8 billion, according to the President. The NHA eyes to turnover the houses in June next year.

The earthquake in Cotabato killed 22 people and also injured 320 individuals. There are 19,697 internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in evacuation centers as a result of the disaster. The quake damaged 8,639 houses and also partially damaged 19,647.

The provincial government of Cotabato initially provided food and non-food items to the IDPs as well as health services such as psychological support and nutrition-related assistance. PND