Malacañang: Despite attending Asean summit, Duterte on top of calamity situation
MANILA, Philippines — Despite attending the 37th Asean Summit, President Rodrigo Duterte is on top of the calamity situation as massive floods hit parts of Cagayan Valley due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, Malacañang said Saturday.
“Siya po ay nalulungkot, ang problema nga ay may nagaganap na Asean [summit] pero ngayon nakatutok siya dyan sa problema dyan sa Region 2,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in the Laging Handa press briefing.
(The President is saddened by what happened. The problem is that the Asean summit is happening but now the president is closely monitoring the situation in Region 2.)
He added that it was Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. who read Duterte’s speech as the President was supervising to send efforts, particularly search and rescue operations for those affected in the Cagayan region.
Roque later said: “Ang problema nga lang po ay may Asean, pero alam ko po ay gagawan ng paraan ng presidente para makaikot din sa mga lugar na yan. Abangan po natin dahil mahirap po ang kanyang movement dahil hindi lang po Asean pero panahon po ng COVID-19.”
(The problem is there is an Asean summit. But I know he will do a plan just to check on those areas. Let us wait for this because it is not only because of the Asean summit, but also because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
“The president is on top the situation, he is in constant communication with (Department of National Defense) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Undersecretary (Ricardo) Jalad of the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) at ganyan din ang kanyang koordinasyon sa (that’s also the coordination with) DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and DOH (Department of Health),” he added.
In a separate statement, Roque said that as early as Friday, the Department of Transportation, through the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), has been working “round-the-clock” to rescue those affected by the floods in Region 2.
According to government data, five individuals in Modelro, Sitio Pantalan, and Pantabangan in Tumauini, Isabela; 50 individuals in Barangay 12, Tuguegarao City; 47 individuals in Pengue Ruyu, Tuguegarao City; 13 individuals in Caritan Norte, Diversion Road, and Anufuan West, Tuguegarao City; and 70 individuals in Linao East, Tuguegarao City were rescued.
“At around 3:30 a.m. today, November 14, the PCG already deployed the first convoy of augmentation, composed of 10 rescue personnel, one multipurpose vehicle, one truck, and several newly-procured rubber boats,” he said. “As of 9 a.m. today, the PCG safely deployed the second convoy of deployable response groups (DRGs) to aid the ongoing rescue operations in Isabela, Tuguegarao, and Cagayan.”
“Said DRGs are composed of 60 rescue and medical personnel, two buses, one 12-wheeler boom truck, two M-35 trucks, and a total of seven drivers. They are also equipped with two rubber boats and three generator sets, as well as 44 drums of fuel for the rescue assets and vehicles,” he added.
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