ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Duterte has formed a task force to streamline the government’s response in the aftermath of typhoon “Ulysses,” which flooded several provinces over the past days.
In a televised address, Duterte said the task force would simplify the provision of relief assistance to typhoon victims.
“Ang gobyerno natin ay gumagawa ng mga patakaran na para matulungan makabangon ‘yung tinamaan ng epekto ng typhoon. Kaya sa madalian, gumawa ako ng hakbang — creation of a task force. Ito naman, I directed them to streamline para madali ang rehabilitation efforts affected by the typhoon,” he said.
“Ulysses” brought heavy rains to Bicol, Metro Manila and Calabarzon on Nov. 12, causing widespread flooding.
Cagayan and Isabela were also flooded due to the release of water from Magat Dam.
Duterte said he made the specific order to members of the task force avoid steps that would cause delays in the government’s typhoon response.
“Sa madaling sabi, gusto ‘yung task force na magbigay kaagad ng relief assistance sa affected — kayong mga tao. Ewan ko kung anong gawain ninyo, ang task force. But kung ano man ‘yan gawain ninyo at ako na ang bahala kung sakali man mayroon dito puwede, mayroon dito hindi. Puwede lahat, gawain na lang ninyo,” he said.
As for immediate rescue operations in flooded areas, Duterte said the Philippine Coast Guard, army and navy had been working “round-the-clock.”
He added that the military was spearheading search and rescue operations in Luzon.
Duterte is scheduled to visit Cagayan on Sunday, his former aide and now Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go said.
As of Nov. 15, 5 p.m., at least 37 were recorded dead and 15 missing due to “Ulysses,” according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. John Ezekiel J. Hirro