Gov’t agencies bracing for Bising; over P556-M standby funds ready
MANILA, Philippines — As Typhoon Bising moves closer to the Bicol Region, Malacañang assured Sunday that government agencies are ready for its onslaught.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who noted that the Palace is monitoring updates on the typhoon, said the Office of Civil Defense has already conducted pre-disaster risk assessments at the national level.
The said office has also issued guidance and advisories for the early preparation of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and the local government units (LGUs) since Wednesday, April 14, Roque added.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Palace official further said, has standby funds amounting to P556,438,277.65 in its central office and field offices as well as stockpiles consisting of 370,058 family food packs worth P188,605,445.38 as of Saturday, April 17.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has assured that they have “dedicated teams looking into the impact of any disaster, especially in monitoring the evacuation centers in relation to COVID-19 protocol,” Roque added.
The DOH likewise prepositioned assorted medicines as well as COVID-19 supplies to its regional offices, he said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, has “prepositioned all response assistance and instructed all Unified Commands to assist RDRRMCs in pre-emptive evacuation and other relevant operations.”
“The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), on the one hand, activated 9 regions, reiterating the use of OPLAN LISTO and LGU assistance to response operations,” Roque added,
The presidential spokesperson, citing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), noted that pre-emptive evacuation has been carried out in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern, and Eastern Samar.
“Our concern is the safety of everyone. We, therefore, ask our people to remain alert and vigilant, cooperate with authorities and continue to observe minimum public health standards for protection against COVID-19,” Roque said.
In its latest weather bulletin on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Typhoon Bising was last spotted 375 kilometers (km) East of Juban, Sorsogon or 345 km East of Virac, Catanduanes.
The typhoon is moving northwestward at 20 kilometers per hour (kph) and has maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 265 kph, according to Pagasa.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.