President Duterte has allocated yesterday P2 billion worth of relief for the victims of the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that shook Surigao del Norte on Friday.
According to the President, he will release the fund through Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who leads the relief efforts for the earthquake victims.
President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Surigao City, 301 kilometers northeast of here, past 1:00 p.m. Sunday to personally assess the damages from the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck that eastern city Friday night.
In a report monitored from here, President Duterte, together with some Cabinet Secretaries, led the distribution of relief goods to 500 evacuees who were housed in the city’s gymnasium.
The city government has listed a total of 1,034 evacuees, but the members of the 4Ps were given priorities in the distribution of the relief goods, a social welfare official said.
In his short message, President Duterte thanked God that the earthquake damage to properties and the loss of lives were minimal.
Local disaster officials reported that only six people were killed in the earthquake last Friday while about 100 people were slightly injured and were treated as out-patients.
President Duterte said that he was thankful that the earthquake did not inflict so much damages compared to other past calamities in the country. The President recounted the incident after typhoon Yolanda struck the city of Tacloban in Leyte sometime in November 2013 where unidentified dead bodies scattered around.
“One could not drive a vehicle on the street of Tacloban after the typhoon Yolanda because of the dead bodies,” the President said.
Aside from the distribution of the relief goods, the President also extended financial assistance to the family where a member of the family died during the earthquake.
President Duterte also ordered Secretary Mark Villar, from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to clear all the roads affected by the earthquake to ensure smooth delivery of relief goods to Surigao City.
He also ordered the restoration of the power in the city after electricity was restored in most parts of the Surigao although other areas remained in darkness.
“I want power restored in Surigao City and Surigao Del Norte tonight,” Duterte said.
He said that his party landed at the alternate airport in Butuan City, where he took a Presidential helicopter and conducted an aerial assessment of the effects of the earthquake.
The President was accompanied by some cabinet members, particularly the DPWH, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). (PNA)
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