Duterte promises to raise P10 billion for Odette victims

By LLANESCA T. PANTI, GMA News

Published December 21, 2021 6:17pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to raise P10 billion to aid the victims of typhoon Odette, the Palace said Tuesday.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles issued the statement a day after President Duterte visited the victims of typhoon Odette in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

“The President was given a situation briefing by Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose ‘Bong’ Lacson, after which the President provided guidance and issued several directives to national agencies to address the immediate concerns of the local governments of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental,” Nograles said.

“President Duterte also vowed to raise additional funds, estimated at P10 billion, for the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the typhoon-affected areas. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected by this natural calamity,” he added.

Earlier, Duterte had claimed that the government had no money left amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nograles said the Department of Social Welfare and Development will continuously provide family food packs and water and shelter assistance for families with damaged houses, while the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Housing Authority will provide housing assistance to victims whose homes were partially and totally damaged.

The Department of Trade and Industry, for its part, will look into and will monitor reports of price hikes, including generators, which are reportedly being sold at twice their usual prices.

The Department of Agriculture, on the other hand, will provide assistance for affected farmers and fisherfolk.

The Department of Public Works and Highways will clear uprooted trees along the roads and highways and to turn over these logs to the local government units for use as housing construction materials, as well as provide the needed support for river dredging as soon as funds are available.

Nograles also said that the Department of Energy and the Department of Information and Communications Technology will work double-time to restore power supply as well as telecommunication networks and internet connectivity in affected regions.

“In addition to these directives, the Chief Executive gave instructions to immediately complete the construction of the Kabankalan airstrip,” Nograles said.

Bohol governor Art Yap earlier appealed for financial assistance for his province, saying they are running out of food supply and that power and water supply in his province are yet to be restored. — BM, GMA News

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