Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5th) – President Rodrigo Duterte said he will visit areas badly hit by Typhoon Odette later this month to check that government agencies have followed his instructions for assistance and rehabilitation.
“Gusto ko tignan, what was the progress of our government intervention there. Bibistahin ko lahat ‘yan ulit, maybe second or third quarter of January,” he said during his regular address, which was broadcast on Wednesday.[Translation: I want to see the progress of the government intervention there. I will go there again maybe in the second of third quarter of January.]
The president visited the Odette-hit areas days after the devastating typhoon hit central and southern parts of the country in mid-December. He distributed goods and gave instructions to the officials on how to help the affected residents.
The Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Ricardo Jalad, assured that they will continue the relief efforts and the implementation of emergency shelters weeks after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette. He said they are currently in the process of assessing and validating damage, loss and residents’ needs; Development of the recovery framework; Analysis of funding opportunities; and drawing up the implementation plan.
The official said he would submit the draft comprehensive report on the rehabilitation and recovery plan to Duterte and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council by February 18.
Interior Minister Eduardo AÃ±o reported that 4.85 billion pesos had been released to local government units, which were hard hit by the typhoon, to be distributed to families on Wednesday.
Duterte, previously concerned about raising funds after the budget ran out, gave a council to the president who will succeed him on June 30.
“This is my advice to everyone who listens, sino ang manalo: Dapat may pondo ka talaga. Cold Cash, Money na direkta mabigay sa kanila,” he said.[Translation: That will be my advice to whoever is listening, to who will win: You should have the funds. Cold cash that you can distribute right away.]
The government reported that 407 people were killed and 1,147 injured in the typhoon, while 78 remain missing.
NDRRMC estimated the devastating typhoon damage to infrastructure and agriculture at pesos 17.07 billion and over pesos 7.68 billion, respectively.
Typhoon Odette was also reported to have destroyed over 598,000 homes in 10 regions across the country.