Duterte visits typhoon-hit Camarines Sur

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PILI, Camarines Sur, Dec. 28 (PIA)—President Rodrigo Duterte assured Camarinenses of a P50M agricultural assistance to help farmers and planters cope with the devastation brought about by Typhoon ‘Nina’(international name: Nock-Ten) to this town and the rest of the Rinconada area on Christmas day.

Mr. Duterte said that reports submitted to him spoke of thousands of homeless families who were forced to flee their homes for safety during the height of one of the most destructive storms to hit the province.

“I wanted to fly here immediately after the typhoon but I have to resolve a problem in Mindanao. Sa mga statistics na sinubmit sa akin ng mga military and other agencies, kayo ang pinaka affected kaya isinama ko si Secretary Pinol,” the President said during a brief speech at the Provincial Capitol here.

He continued: “He has with him immediate seeds for planting. We have the money, corn and rice. We have P50 million to give you and then I might add something to that.”

In a partial report prepared by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) through its chief, Lucena Bermeo, there were 70,027 evacuated families (307,429 individuals); 20,085 totally damaged houses; 49, 665 partially damaged houses, and 12 cases of injured persons.

Partial damage to the 21,441.48 hectares of rice area was pegged at P642,289,157.63 and affected at least 26,667 farmers.

The fisheries sector suffered an estimated loss of P8,200,000.00 loss while 4,875 corn planters were not also spare with an incurred P361,995,857.75 worth of partial damages covering the 7,883 hectares of corn area.

High-value crops from 9 municipalities were also ravaged, resulting in income loss for 867 farmers.

Mr. Duterte directed Education Secretary Leonor Briones to check on the school facilities and ensure that the calamity will not disrupt the classes when schools reopen after the holidays.

“Kasama ko si Sec. Briones to ensure that school will return to normal days. ‘Wag na tayo maghintay and wallow to self-pity, we need to return to normalcy as soon as possible,” he added.

The President also ordered Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to immediately restore electricity in damaged areas.

Nonetheless, considering the extent of the devastation as shown by the fallen electric poles, Duterte is asking the public to give the Department of Energy reasonable time to get things done.

(EAD/LSMacatangay-PIA5/Camarines Sur)