MANILA, Oct 31 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday conducted an aerial inspection over areas affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, particularly parts of Cavite.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday conducts an aerial inspection over areas affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, particularly parts of Cavite. (MNS photo)

Marcos shared a photo of the aerial survey on his official Facebook page. He was accompanied by Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla.

He also led the ceremonial distribution of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) assistance to families and individuals in Barangay San Jose II in Noveleta, Cavite.

At least PHP50 million worth of relief goods were distributed to the victims of the natural calamity, according to the description provided by state-run RTVM.

The town of Noveleta, along with Kawit, is one of the hardest-hit areas in Cavite as severe rains from the uplands caused heavy flooding leading to the destruction of a river wall near the Ylang-Ylang River.

Noveleta in Cavite was heavily hit by Tropical Storm Paeng. (MNS photo)

Around 18,000 families have been evacuated in Cavite.

In a short speech before the distribution of relief goods, Marcos emphasized the need for preemptive evacuation among residents as soon as advisories on approaching typhoons are released.

“Lagi kong ipinipilit at ipinapaala sa lahat ng NDRRMC [National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council] natin na ang pinakaimportante, pagkaalam natin may parating na bagyo ay mayroon tayong evacuation na preemptive na inuunahan natin yung bagyo na ilikas ang mga tao para kung sakali man dumaan dun sa lugar na ‘yun, ay hindi na sila mabiktima (I always insist and remind the NDRRMC that the most important thing is that when we know a typhoon is coming, we must have preemptive evacuation that precedes the typhoon to evacuate the people in case it passes in that place they will not become victims),” he said.

He said although there were few casualties, the infrastructure damage was severe.

Data from the NDRRMC showed that 4,188 houses were reported damaged in Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region and the National Capital Region. Partially damaged was placed at 3,499 and totally damaged at 689.

Infrastructure damage was estimated at PHP757 million and these were reported in Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Davao Region.

Fatalities from the storm have climbed to 98. Of the number, 58 have been confirmed while 40 have yet to be validated.

Meanwhile, Marcos assured Noveleta evacuees that the government will strive to ensure that displaced persons can return to their respective homes as soon as possible.

“Alam ko naman na pagka ganito lahat ng na evacuate ay talagang gustong bumalik kaagad, at tinitiyak na lang natin na hindi naman magiging delikado ang pagbalik sa inyong mga tahanan, sa inyong mga negosyo (I know that evacuees want to return to their homes right away and we guarantee that it will no longer be dangerous for you to return to your homes, your livelihoods),” he said.

He also assured that the government will provide enough food, water and other necessities while they remain in evacuation centers.

“We will take charge here and we will make sure na okay kayong lahat (that you’ll all be okay),” he added. (MNS)