Duterte apologizes to ‘Odette’ victims in Palawan over delay in gov’t response
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday apologized to Palawan residents over the delay in government’s response following the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Odette.
“Mag-apologize muna ako. Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap rin kami dito sa itaas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo, island for island, at pati ‘yung pera,” the president told the victims during his visit.
(I would like to apologize first because of the delayed government response. Honestly, we are challenged here because of the so many places scattered around and far from one another, island for island, and money.)
Duterte assured the victims that he had raised P10 billion which came from his office.
“Naka-raise ako ng P10 billion. ‘Yan, ibigay sa tao. It does not include everything, but only ito para lang sa tao. Galing sa opisina ko ‘to. Iba ‘yung mga tulong ng ibang ahensya,” Duterte said.
(I raised P10 billion. This will be given to the people. It does not include everything, but only for the people. The assistance of other government agencies is different.)
He asked the victims in Palawan to patiently wait for the assistance.
The chief executive likewise said that they will not take Christmas and New Year breaks to address the aftermath of Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.
“Hanggang pasko magtatrabaho ako. Hindi ako mag-New Year, talagang lalabas ako,” he assured.
(I will work until Christmas. I will not celebrate New Year, I will really go out.)
The president recently declared a state of calamity in Odette-affected areas, particularly in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.
Based on the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 258 individuals across the country were killed by Odette, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the country this year.