DUTERTE IN CAGAYAN. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides a situation briefing to discuss the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses in the Cagayan Valley Region at Tuguegarao airport in Cagayan on (Sunday) Nov. 15, 2020. (Screengrabbed from PTV)
TUGUEGARAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday condoled with families of villagers who died after Typhoon Ulysses battered Cagayan province, as he tagged climate change as the culprit in the massive flooding that engulfed Cagayan Valley.
“The problem is whether we accept it or not, the climate change (is the culprit as) there’s a lot of water vapor going upstairs in the Pacific Ocean and accumulating into so much rain,” he said.
Saying that the government is “working very hard to rebuild” the lives of villagers from the destruction, the President — who led the typhoon aftermath briefing here, said he has ordered continuous rescue and relief operations “until all families are saved, all casualties and missing persons have been accounted for, and all affected individuals and communities have received their needed relief and other assistance.”
Looking to appease the victims, Duterte said: “We know your anguish and we will respond with urgency. With the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino, I am confident that together we will brave all the challenges ahead and emerge stronger as a nation.”
He ordered the regional social welfare office for the immediate distribution of million-peso assistance aside from the help from local government units and non-government groups.
He urged the local leaders to “actively collaborate with the task force created to lead the rehabilitation efforts because your lives including your good health, safety and improved welfare are the government’s priority.”
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, meanwhile, said the floods have been the “worst” in the past 45 years.
The province’s woes with the region’s water systems would finally be addressed with the assistance of the national government and its agencies, he added. (PNA)