President orders agencies to continue relief efforts in quake-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered government agencies and their respective leaders to continue monitoring and conducting relief operations in areas affected by the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Sarangani, Davao Occidental, last November 17.
In a statement on Sunday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Marcos met with Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, and other government officials, instructing them to prioritize the safety of affected residents.
“About aftershocks, let’s just keep watching. Let’s keep waiting. Let’s not pull our people just yet until it subsides so we can avoid injuries and deaths,” Marcos said.
PCO said Marcos likewise assured that he would monitor the situation in the affected province amid his official trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 1,509 people, or 180 families, have been impacted by the earthquake thus far.
It also stated that the number of people injured by the earthquake has risen to 13, while the death toll from the quake has climbed from seven to eight.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has so far given 6,500 food packs and other interventions totaling over P5.1 million in a bid to assist residents of General Santos City and Sarangani Province.