President Duterte assures
Lanao del Norte's quick recovery after 'Vinta' havoc
MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte visited Lanao del Norte on
Wednesday, December 27, to personally assess the damage of Typhoon Vinta
assuring local officials of assistance for the province’s immediate
"I’m sure we still have some money to spare and supplies to share with you,"
President Duterte told local government officials during the National
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) briefing held in
Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
Duterte said his administration will try to "fast- track everything" in
order to meet the needs of the typhoon victims adding that he has already
instructed concerned department heads to do their job.
"It’s in the departments concerned and I will just order them to come here
and do their thing, in whatever aspect they are supposed to deal with," he
The Chief Executive likewise assured the local officials that he would
convene a Cabinet meeting to determine what is needed for the province’s
quick return to normalcy.
Among the concerns raised by Lanao del Norte mayors include severe damage to
major infrastructure such as bridges, farm-to-market roads, irrigation
system and government vehicles.
The President then tasked different government agencies and support groups
to help in the restoration and recovery such as the Philippine Air Force and
the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
"Magtulungan na lang tayo. We will provide the equipment. I hope they are
nearby so that they can be transported here. So they can come here and do
the job immediately," he said.
He also promised the local leaders that he would prioritize the assistance
to the agriculture sector in the province. According to initial government
reports, a total of PHP38-million of damage to the agriculture sector was
recorded in Mindanao alone, to which the President said needed to be
Duterte then tasked Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, who
was present during the briefing, to address the matter.
"That’s why I’m here, part of my job. We are all workers of government and
we will see to it that ‘yung ipinangako namin dito matupad kaagad," he said.
The President also extended his condolences to the families of those who
died due to the typhoon's wrath. He promised to continue the search and
retrieval operations for those who are still missing.
While lamenting the disasters the country have experienced this year, the
President remains optimistic for "a new beginning" come 2018.
"I just hope that next year Allah would be kind enough to give us a new
beginning. I just hope that it would turn out that way," he said.
Following the briefing, the President answered several queries from the
media in a brief interview where he committed to visit other places damaged
by the typhoon.
He said he would also visit Marawi probably during the weekend after he
cancelled his scheduled trip to Lanao del Sur due to bad weather.
The President was supposed to lead the turnover of some 500 temporary
shelters in Barangay Sagonsongan to families affected by the five-month-long
armed conflict in the Islamic city. (PND)