News Release

President Duterte vows to provide Jolo with additional fire trucks

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the ceremonial distribution of aid for the fire victims at the Municipal Hall of Jolo in Sulu on July 27, 2018. Assisting the President is Sec. Bong Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

JOLO, SULU — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, July 27, extended relief assistance to victims of a huge blaze that razed around 13 hectares of lands in two villages here.

During his visit to the fire victims, the President said each family affected by the blaze will receive on Monday P15,000 financial support.

He likewise promised to provide roofing and other construction materials to the fire victims.

“So magpadala ako ng mga yero dito… makumpleto ko ‘yan. Magpadala ako,” he said in his speech.

In addition to President Duterte’s cash assistance, the local social welfare office has provided P1,000 for each family.

The Chief Executive said he is saddened by the incident and pledged to provide Jolo with four additional fire trucks.

“I am sorry na nangyari ito sa inyo… Ngayon, ang sinisisi ko ‘yung responde. Sabi nga nila, ‘Hanggang diyan lang kami, sir.’ Kaya kulang kayo ng truck,” he said.

Inadequate firefighting equipment hampered Jolo authorities from containing the blaze that gutted the neighborhood of informal settlers here on July 23 and 24.

“So iyon ang tulong ko, maghanap ako ng barko na — fireboat. Iyong manggaling sa… Pati dito. Bigyan ko — maghanap ako ng bagong malalaking apat na… August ‘yan, August. Apat na malalaking truck,” he said.

The President said the government is also planning to procure a fire-fighting helicopter.

“Ito plano lang pero subukan ko sa lahat ng makakaya ko. Magbili ako ng — kasi dikit-dikit kayo eh tsaka mahirap coastal… So magbili ako ng isang helicopter na magbuhos ng tubig ‘yung — parang fire truck… Pero ‘yan ang plano, ‘yan ang plano ni General Año,” he said.

At least 3,313 families were affected by the fire, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) while the initial damage assessment by the local fire bureau is P35 million.

Reiterating his intention to bring peace to the war-ravaged region, President Duterte rallied the locals’ support for the newly signed Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

“Iyong BBL tapos na. Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera,” the President said.

“Huwag natin pasukan ‘yan. Hindi panahon natin ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung away na pwede tayong makipagsapalaran na ubusan. Mag-usap na lang. Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo,” he added. ###(PND)