PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday assured a “whole range of assistance” from the government for people in areas hardest hit by Super Typhoon “Karding.”
“Presently what we are organizing is the airlift for food materials, food packs, water into Polillo because they said it's one of the most affected,” the President said in a briefing at the Office of Civil Defense.
“Then, after we intend to get the basics there — again food, water, shelter and even clothes, all of these things… The DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) is also prepared to provide AICS (assistance to individuals in crisis situations) for those that will need assistance,” he said.
The government will also provide financial assistance to the displaced residents in stricken areas in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac, but only after rescue and rebuilding efforts have ended and evacuees are provided with their immediate needs.
“The whole range of assistance is prepared, is ready to go. But right now, having cash is really not very useful for them. So, we will prioritize their immediate needs and then when the time comes they can already make use of the AICS, we will give it to them,” Marcos said.
He said he was satisfied with the readiness of frontline government agencies even before the typhoon made landfall, and relieved that it left only “minimal” damage.
“I think we may have gotten lucky at least this time, a little bit. But I think it's clear from this — from what we did these last two days is that very, very important is preparation,” the President said.
“Get people out of the areas of danger. Put all of your assets that you are going to use for rescue, relief efforts, put them in place as much as possible. … It's really in the preparation,” he said.
Accompanied by Defense Secretary Jose Faustino, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, and Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo, the President conducted an aerial inspection of several provinces in northern Luzon to assess the destruction from Karding.
“After our aerial inspection today, we found some areas that are still inundated with water. Nueva Ecija and Aurora are without power. We are sending gensets (generator sets) now,” Marcos said.
He said that generally, “the damage to public and private infrastructure is manageable. Government services are almost at full function. Main thoroughfares are passable, communication is up and running.”
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