President Rodrigo Duterte said the government is ready to provide much-needed assistance to Typhoon Odette victims, assuring them that the government has not forgotten them.
According to Duterte, the Department of Social Welfare and Development already has a list of beneficiaries, so those who are eligible for assistance will receive their fair share.
“I visited Palawan earlier today and then I came here before I go home to Davao. I came here to let you know that the government has not forgotten you. The government is working very hard, and the government is doing all that it can to find money for you,” Duterte said during his visit to typhoon victims in Cebu on Thursday.
He also stated that the funds will be distributed among local government units, and that Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ao will oversee their implementation.
“So the only thing we need now is your cooperation. We in government are ready, we are ready to provide. So what we’re aiming for now is a peaceful implementation because everyone will get their fair share anyway,” he said.
On Sunday, the President paid a visit to Cebu and conducted an aerial survey of the province’s southern region, landing in Argao town, the province’s second southern locality after Carcar City, where Typhoon Odette made landfall.
Following the meeting at the Philippine Air Force base, Duterte traveled to the Barangays of Tisa and Labangon to assess the extent of the typhoon’s damage.
Hundreds of residents, including several mayors, greeted him at the Labangon Elementary School gymnasium, where he and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed food packs to disaster victims.
During the distribution of construction materials to the victims, the police and military will be deployed to maintain order.
“Don’t get angry that there will be policemen that will watch over you. This is to prevent any chaos. You know, it starts with a crowd control problem, but it could degenerate into a [mob rule?]. So that’s what we’re trying to prevent,” he said.
In a speech in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, he pledged to provide a PHP10 billion disaster response fund on Monday.
Acting Budget Secretary Tina Rose Canda previously stated that at least PHP6 billion of the proposed PHP5.024 trillion national budget for 2022 would go toward the PHP10 billion response fund.