President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, on November 2, 2020, conducted an aerial inspection of areas hard-hit by Typhoon Rolly, particularly in Catanduanes and Albay in Bicol Region.
Duterte also visited Guinobatan, Albay to meet with residents severely affected by the super typhoon.
Go said Duterte instructed concerned agencies to conduct an investigation on alleged quarrying operations in the area that residents complained about.
During an interview, Go said Duterte has been working and monitoring round-the-clock developments regarding the recent devastation of Super Typhoon Rolly in the country, particularly in Bicol Region where the typhoon made its first landfall.
“Hindi ibig sabihin nasa Mindanao po ang Pangulo ay hindi po siya nagtatrabaho, 24/7 po nagtatrabaho ang ating Pangulo at sinisigurado ng Pangulo na laging handa ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na magbigay kaagad ng immediate assistance sa mga lugar na maaapektuhan ng bagyo. Gusto ng Pangulo na parati tayong handa (If the President is in Mindanao, it does not mean he is not working. Our President is working 24/7 and he always makes sure that our government agencies are ready to give immediate assistance in the affected areas. The President wants us to be ready always),” Go said.
Go said the primary focus of the government must be on providing immediate aid to affected communities and in restoring normalcy in those areas.
“Lahat po ng ahensya ay dapat laging handa to restore normalcy ng lahat ng apektadong lugar. Ipinatawag po niya ang lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno para tumulong kaagad dito sa recovery efforts (All agencies must always be ready to restore normalcy in all affected areas. He directed all government agencies to immediately help in recovery efforts),” he added.
Go urged concerned agencies to work double time to ensure that critical services are restored, and immediate aid are delivered to communities needing support from the government.
“Especially po dito sa DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), restoration ng communications natin. Sa Department of Energy, restoration ng electricity. Napaka-importante po nito, lalong-lalo na walang komunikasyon sa kanila (Especially the DICT, restoration of our communication. To Department of Energy, restoration of electricity. This is very important, especially that they have no communication),” he stressed.
He said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH) are also doing their respective functions to help the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Go also reminded local government units to enforce strict social distancing and other health protocols in evacuation centers to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19 and other diseases.
Go also shared that he will continue to push for his proposed measure providing for the creation of the mandatory evacuation centers in every province, city and municipality nationwide that will serve as a temporary shelter for those who are displaced by natural and man-made disasters.
“As of now, we have evacuation centers by region. That’s why I’m pushing Mandatory Evacuation Center Act of 2019. It seeks the establishment of evacuation centers in every city, province and municipality,” Go said.
He said it is important that sanitation in the evacuation centers will be maintained.
“Kawawa po ‘yung mga bata kung saan meron man lang silang komportableng higaan pansamantalaga habang hindi pa sila nakakabalik sa tirahan po (The children should have comfortable place while they are still in evacuation centers),” he added.
Go also mentioned that he is pushing for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) to ensure quick response and proactive and holistic approach in preparing for calamities and other natural disasters.
He also urged Filipinos to remain vigilant as the new tropical cyclone “Siony” is moving towards extreme northern Luzon. He also asked the public to continue to cooperate and help each other amid the ongoing crises.
“Mag-ingat po tayo sa mga kapatid nating Pilipino meron na namang parating na bagyo… Paigtingin natin ang pagdadasal, meron pang Covid-19, meron pang bagyo. Magcooperate po tayo sa gobyerno at sumunod sa mga patakaran. Para rin ito sa kabutihan ng lahat (Let us all be careful because there is another storm coming. Let’s pray, we have also Covid-19. Let’s cooperate with the government and following guidelines. It’s for our own good),” Go said.