Duterte apologizes for delayed gov’t response in Odette-hit areas

By LLANESCA T. PANTI, GMA News

Published December 23, 2021 7:29pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized over what he admitted was a delayed government response for the victims of typhoon Odette.

He also adverted to the need for a damage report before funds are released.

“Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap din kami dito sa itaas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo ,” Duterte said during his visit to Odette-hit Palawan.

[I would like to apologize that the government response took a while. In fact, we really had a hard time because the affected areas are scattered around and hard to reach.]

“Pati ‘yung pera. Alam mo kasi maraming nagsasalita. ‘Yung calamity fund, up to sa mga mayors, kailangan may report ang damage ng isang lugar bago ma-release ang pera,” he added.

[Even the money. A lot of people are talking. On the calamity fund, there has to he a report on damages before money can be released.]

“Sabi ko hindi na hintayin ‘yon. Ako, ang sagot ko, i-release ninyo ang pera,” Duterte said.

[I told them I won’t wait for that report because the fund should be released.]

Duterte said he would work over the Christmas holidays as many remain hungry and are getting sick in typhoon-struck areas.

“Maski ngayong Pasko magtatrabaho pa rin ako, at marami akong pupuntahang lugar na gutom ‘yung tao, may sakit na, at hindi nakakain. Sa maliliit na sitio diyan sa bukid, kailangan mapuntahan ‘yan ,” Duterte said.

[Even this Christmas, I will be working. I will be visiting a lot of areas where many people are hungry, sick. Those small sitios, farms, I need to go there.]

“Hanggang Pasko magtatrabaho ako, hindi ako mag-New Year. Talagang lalabas ako. Marami nang Pasko sa buhay natin, sobra-sobra na. Itong Pasko na ito, ibigay natin sa tao,” he added.

[I will not celebrate New Year. I will be outside. I have celebrated a lot of Christmases already. I had more than enough. This Christmas, I will give it to the people.]

Typhoon Odette has left at least 258 people dead and 2.1 million people displaced during the Christmas season. –NB, GMA News

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