President Rodrigo Duterte ordered various national government agencies to assist the Caraga region, the area most hit by tropical storm “Auring”, during his briefing on Tuesday in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.
Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of the typhoon’s aftermath, then directed various secretaries to complete their respective damage and needs assessments, and address concerns within a week.
“Pagkain, shelter - ma-plastic man o ano - and tubig, yan importante, importante talaga yang tubig… all of you, all departments, if you cannot come back here, at least send a representative who can work or who will work… you have one week to do it, all of you,” he said.
“I am a very impatient man, not because by design, but kakaunti na lang kasi panahon na pagkapresidente ko; gusto kong dapat gawin, gawin na kaagad,” he said during the briefing attended by the Cabinet and local chief executives.
The number of families affected by the onslaught of Tropical Storm Auring has climbed to 49,947 in five regions, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
In its update on Wednesday, the NDRRMC said the highest number was recorded in Caraga with 47,791 families, followed by Northern Mindanao with 1,337; the Davao region with 803; Bicol with 15; and Eastern Visayas with one.
Before the storm’s onslaught, a total of 18,966 families were pre-emptively evacuated in Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.
Only one fatality was recorded, along with two injured and four missing in Caraga.
About 679 houses were damaged in Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, the Davao Region, and Caraga.
Auring wrought at least P21,437,542 worth of damage to agriculture in the Caraga Region, the NDRRMC added.
In an update, NDRRMC said among the affected agricultural items were rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, livestock, and poultry.
Around P2.8 million worth of damage in infrastructure was reported in the region including flood control and water facilities.
At least 12 roads and two bridges were affected in Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao, and Caraga Region.
NDRRMC said 226 houses were totally damaged and 453 were partially damaged in Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga Regions.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government units provided a total of P3,212,414 worth of assistance to affected residents in Davao and Caraga Regions, it added.
“Auring” was first detected as a low pressure area (LPA) on February 17, intensifying to a tropical depression as it approached the Philippine land mass with gustiness of up to 80 kilometers per hour.
According to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the typhoon left a 6- year-old boy dead due to drowning in Surigao del Sur and injured 2.
Four persons remain missing, including 3 fishermen who ventured out to sea.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said his department allocated “P230 million worth of agricultural interventions” for the province of Surigao del Sur, while Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez committed to extend loans or “outright livelihood support” funding to 1,000 affected small enterprises.
“Puhunan po ito, yung mga gamit na pwede nang paninda, so ibibigay ho natin,” Lopez said.
Coastal municipalities affected by “Auring” will be given 30 motorized fiberglass bancas each, courtesy of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“I was informed by the governor (Alexander Pimentel, Surigao del Sur) that out of 19 municipalities, 18 are coastal towns so we’re giving them 30 motorized fiberglass bancas,” Bello said.
DOLE also appropriated funding for the emergency employment of 250 workers for 10 days, at minimum wage, to areas stricken by “Auring”.
Pimentel said the clearing of several impassable barangay roads is a priority and asked Duterte to allow the DPWH to lend heavy equipment to his province.
The chief executive instructed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to instead allocate funds for the purchase of heavy equipment, as Duterte stressed accessible barangay roads will support his administration’s counter-insurgency campaign.
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