MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will be going around areas severely affected by Typhoon Odette during the holiday break to focus on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts and closely monitor the distribution of relief goods to calamity victims.
Duterte made the announcement during his visit to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan which was also ravaged by the typhoon.
“So titingnan namin, hanggang pasko magtatrabaho ako. Hindi ako mag-new year. Talagang lalabas ako. Sabi ko mag-overtime kami gobyerno, hindi magsara maski na pasko,” Duterte said.
“Sabi ko magsakripisyo na muna tayo tutal marami nang pasko sa buhay natin, sobra-sobra na. Itong pasko na ito ibigay natin sa tao,” he added.
Aside from Palawan, the President also visited Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Negros Occidental, Leyte, and Bohol.
The Chief Executive also apologized for the delay in the government’s response.
“Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap din kami dito sa taas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo. 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 explained.
Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, around 52,000 families were rendered homeless by the typhoon this holiday season. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Rosalie Coz)