MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope that the communist New People’s Army (NPA) will not tinker with the government’s operations to bring back normalcy in the areas ravaged by Typhoon Odette.
During his prerecorded “Talk to the People” on Monday night, Duterte said he has been mobilizing all the government’s resources to augment the disaster response and relief operations within the typhoon-hit areas, including Regions 4-B (Mimaropa), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao), and 13 (Caraga).
“I hope that the NPAs will not really tinker with the operations nitong response ng gobyerno (on the response of the government),” Duterte said, as he recalled his recent visit in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
Duterte said people in the typhoon-hit regions, such as those living in the coastal areas of Sipalay City, do really need assistance from the government.
“Little did we realize that so many people there (Sipalay City) carried away and homes were destroyed. Pero noong pagpunta namin doon wala pa (But when we went there there’s nothing yet). Even during that day, it was only later, that we were informed na sa Sipalay City maraming na-damage pati tao (that there were many have been damaged in Sipalay City, including its people). So, kayong mga taga-Sipalay (to hose living Sipalay), we convey to you our deepest condolences,” Duterte said, as he urged national government agencies to work together in sending relief assistance to the typhoon victims.
“The only we can do is that – do how fast we can go back to normalcy. The first is really how we do it, we would like to know from the reports so that we can craft the appropriate assistance [for them],” he added.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Eduardo Año, in his report to the President, said the total number of affected individuals has so far reached 4,204,601.
There are 1,179 evacuation centers catering to about 570,906 displaced persons.
Año said the government is just now focusing its relief operations on six regions, 14 provinces, and 222 cities and municipalities hit hard by the typhoon.
The disaster-related incidents have so far reached 21 flooded areas; nine road sections and three bridges that remained unpassable; as well as 52 seaports and two airports that are still not functional.
Año added that the government still has to restore 130 power outages, 17 water supplies, and 371 communication lines in affected areas. (PNA)