President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the fast-tracking of rehabilitation works in areas affected by tropical storm “Vinta” as he presided over a meeting with officials of various government agencies in Tubod town, Lanao del Norte, to assess the extent of devastation.
The President said he wants the immediate rehabilitation of all areas affected by Vinta in Mindanao by maximizing the remaining government resources.
“We will fast-track everything. We still have some money especially in the Agriculture Department. In five to 10 days I will ask [Emmanuel] Piñol and [Mark] Villar to visit here,” Duterte told local officials.
The President also met the mayors and provincial officials but did not yet meet the storm victims during his visit to Lanao Del Norte on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the President urged the mayors’ to spell out their needs.There were no Cabinet members present during the meeting but were represented by their regional directors and discussed matters that would help in the immediate recovery of communities struck by Vinta.
It was the first time that the president convened the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council since he assumed presidency.
The mayors’ requests were focused on the rehabilitation of infrastructure like roads, bridges, water supply, sufficient provision of relief goods and temporary shelters for homeless families.
The President assured to restore bridges and impassable roads as soon as possible through the immediate assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Philippine Army.
However, the delivery of food assistance and medicines to the affected areas will be handled the Philippine Air Force.
Vinta lashed large parts of Mindanao and left 164 dead, 176 missing and more than 118,000 families living in evacuation shelters late last week based on the official data presented to the President by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 10 or Northern Mindanao.
13 dead in Palawan
Meanwhile, 13 people died from the onslaught of Vinta in Palawan, its last destination before it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) earlier this week, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported on Friday.
Eugene Cabrera, directors of OCD Mimaropa, identified the fatalities as Romeo Tarcena, Nonoh Fraginal, Felix Polintang, Al Mudja, Meradz Kanang, Musa Sahi. Daddy Timiong. Alliya Abdulmufti, Kiking Ronie, Mac-Mac Hassan, Retcher Ismael, Melvin Alnasim and Balid Lancuas.
The provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan comprise the Mimaropa region.
Cabrera also reported that normal operations in several ports have resumed including the ports in Calapan and Dangay in Oriental Mindoro; Abra de Ilog in Occidental Mindoro; Balanacan in Marinduque; Poctoy and Romblon ports of Romblon province; and the Puerto Princesa, Coron, and Cuyo ports in Palawan.
All national roads and bridges in Mimaropa are passable to all types of vehicles while clearing operations on affected roads and bridges section in Palawan was already undertaken by the District Maintenance Emergency Team.
The southern municipalities of Palawan have been declared under state of calamity.