MANILA – Malacañang on Saturday assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte is closely monitoring the government’s response to Tropical Depression Vicky which triggered floods and landslides in parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
“The Chief Executive continues to monitor Tropical Depression Vicky as concerned agencies of the government assist areas that are in the track of ‘Vicky’ and provide rescue and relief operations to affected residents,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Roque’s assurance came as “Vicky” maintains its strength while moving westward toward the northern-central portion of Palawan.
It was last spotted at 220 kilometers east southeast of Puerto Princesa City, according to the 11 a.m. weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
The tropical cyclone packed maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.
Roque urged the public to stay calm and vigilant while monitoring weather updates from the government.
“We ask the public, especially those living in the affected areas to stay calm, remain vigilant, and be ready to evacuate in case local authorities advise them to do so. Regularly monitor government advisories and weather updates for more information,” he said.
Roque ensured that people residing in areas that will be hit by “Vicky” would receive assistance from concerned government agencies.
He noted that as of 6 p.m. on Friday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) central office, field offices, and national resource operations center have stockpiles and standby funds amounting to PHP 779,958,349.25.
He said the DSWD has also prepared some 230,191 family food packs while the Department of Health has prepositioned drugs and medicines in the agency’s affected regional and provincial offices.
Roque added that the Department of Public Works and Highways’ prepositioned teams are now in affected areas to conduct clearing operations.
The Philippine National Police has deployed around 1,590 search and rescue personnel, as of 6 a.m. Saturday, to help in disaster response operations.
Roque praised the local government units’ (LGUs) emergency preparedness plan for the tropical cyclone.
“We laud the local government units of the affected areas for their timely pro-active preparation as well as their readiness in responding to the effects of the TD Vicky in their localities,” he said. (PNA)