By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

AID DISTRIBUTION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (left) hands over assistance to Abra Governor Dominic Valera in Bangued town on Saturday (July 29, 2023). Marcos lauded the national and local governments for their efforts to provide immediate assistance to affected areas. (Screenshot from Radio Television Malacañang)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday commended the national government and local government units (LGUs) for their joint efforts to ensure immediate and proper disaster response in areas affected by Typhoon Egay.

During the distribution of various government assistance to typhoon victims in Bangued, Abra, he also expressed elation that displaced families temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers are safe and getting the necessary assistance from the government.

He assured that the government would also help typhoon victims who are staying outside the evacuation centers.

Mahusay naman ang ating mga disaster response team sa LGU at sa national at maganda naman ang ugnayan ng national at saka local kaya sa palagay ko, sa lalong madaling panahon, mababalik na natin lahat ng mga serbisyo na kinakailangan (The disaster response teams of the LGUs and the national government are doing a good job. The national and local governments have good communication line. That’s why I am optimistic that we will soon be able to restore the services needed),” he said.

Kaya kami nandito para tiyakin na maayos ang takbo at magbigay ng instruction para maging maliwanag kung ano ang dapat nating gawin (That’s why we are here, to monitor the situation and give instructions to make sure that they know what to do),” he added.

Marcos said electricity in affected areas would be fully restored once the inspection of power lines is done.

Ang susunod naman diyan ay ang pag-rehabilitate at rebuilding na. Kaya tinitingnan na rin namin gaano karami ang damage, ilan ‘yung talagang nasiraan ng bahay, ano ‘yung damage doon sa mga ibang bahay. Magpo-provide din kami ng building materials para naman maitayo ulit at mabalikan (The next step is rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts. We are assessing the damage and identifying the homes that have been destroyed. We will provide building materials to restore the houses),” he said.

The provincial government of Abra declared a state of calamity because of extensive flooding and damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

About 46,000 families or 180,000 individuals in Abra alone were affected by Egay, which reached super typhoon category.

Marcos led the distribution of food packs and PHP10,000 worth of cash assistance per family from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He also turned over agricultural assistance from the Department of Agriculture to farmers, as well as monetary aid from the Office of the President to LGUs in the Cordillera region.

At the onset of the typhoon, Marcos ordered a whole-of-nation approach and directed all concerned government agencies to ensure the rehabilitation of the affected families. (PNA)