President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, conducted an aerial inspection of areas hardest hit by Typhoon Rolly, particularly in Bicol Region such as Catanduanes and Albay, on Monday, November 2.
The President also visited Guinobatan, Albay to meet with residents severely affected by the Typhoon. According to Go, President Duterte instructed concerned agencies to conduct an investigation on alleged quarrying operations in the area that residents complained about.
During an interview, Go said that Duterte has been working and monitoring round-the-clock developments regarding the recent devastation of Typhoon Rolly in the country, particularly in Bicol Region where the typhoon made its initial landfall.
“Hindi ibig sabihin nasa Mindanao po ang Pangulo ay hindi po siya nagta-trabaho. 24/7 po nagtatrabaho ang ating Pangulo at sinisigurado ng Pangulo na laging handa ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na magbigay kaagad ng immediate assistance sa mga lugar na maaapektuhan ng bagyo. Gusto ng Pangulo na parati tayong handa,” Go said during the interview.
The Senator added that the primary focus of the government must be on providing immediate aid to affected communities and in restoring normalcy in those areas.
“Lahat po ng ahensya ay dapat laging handa to restore normalcy ng lahat ng apektadong lugar,” Go said.
“Ipinatawag po niya ang lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno para tumulong kaagad dito sa recovery efforts,” he added.
Go urged key concerned agencies to work double time to ensure that critical services are restored and immediate aid are delivered to communities needing support from the government.
“Especially po dito sa DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), restoration ng communications natin. Sa Department of Energy, restoration ng electricity. Napaka-importante po nito, lalong-lalo na walang komunikasyon sa kanila,” he stressed.
“Not only that, pati DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), repair ng mga road and other infrastructure, lalo na po ‘yung mga critical at essential sa delivery ng goods. Ang DOTr (Department of Transportation) naman, restoration of travel by repairing damages sa mga airport and seaport dahil marami ring tinamaan din po,” he added.
“And, of course, itong DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), immediate delivery ng food packs, non-food items, mga financial assistance and even tents… And itong DOH (Department of Health), mga gamot, including mask and hygiene kits,” he added further.
Meanwhile, Go also reminded local government units to enforce strict social distancing and other health protocols in evacuation centers to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
“Nababalitaan ko, makikita ninyo po sa telebisyon, nagkakadikit-dikit po ang tao sa pag-evacuate kahapon. ‘Di naman natin sila mapigilan nagmamadali na, nauubos oras natin tuwing mag-evacuate tayo,” Go explained.
“Apela ko lang po sa ating LGU officials at health authorities… Importante po dito social distancing, paggamit po ng mask at sanitation po dun sa evacuation center. Magtulungan na lang tayo para masunod ang heath protocols sa evacuation centers,” he added.
Go also shared that he will continue to push for his proposed measure providing for the creation of the mandatory evacuation centers in every province, city and municipality nationwide that will serve as a temporary shelter for those who are displaced by natural and man-made disasters.
“Sa ngayon po, mayroon tayong by region ang ating mga evacuation centers. Kaya nga po isa sa aking isinusulong Mandatory Evacuation Center Act of 2019. It seeks the establishment of evacuation centers in every city, province and municipality,” Go said.
“Importante sa akin dito ‘yung sanitation. Kawawa po ‘yung mga bata kung saan meron man lang silang komportableng higaan pansamantalaga habang hindi pa sila nakakabalik sa tirahan po,” he added.
Go also mentioned that he is pushing for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) to ensure quick response and proactive and holistic approach in preparing for calamities and other natural disasters.
Furthermore, Go urged Filipinos to remain vigilant as the new Typhoon Siony is moving towards extreme northern Luzon. He also asked the public to continue to cooperate and help each other amid the ongoing crises.
“Mag-ingat po tayo sa mga kapatid nating Pilipino meron na namang parating na bagyo… Paigtingin natin ang pagdadasal, meron pang COVID-19, meron pang bagyo. Magcooperate po tayo sa gobyerno at sumunod sa mga patakaran. Para rin ito sa kabutihan ng lahat,” Go said.
“Magbayanihan tayo at magmalasakit sa kapwa. Kung anuman ang maitutulong natin ay gawin na natin sa abot ng ating makakaya. Sino ba naman ang magtutulungan kundi tayo lang po kapwa natin Pilipino,” he ended.