MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited Cagayan on Sunday to show his solidarity with Ilocanos affected by massive flooding in Cagayan Valley region and promised swift government assistance.
“My solidarity and condolences go out to my fellow Filipinos in Cagayan Valley, most especially to the bereaved families of the victims of the unprecedented flooding that occurred in the area in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses,” President Duterte said during the situation briefing in Tuguegarao City on the effects of Typhoon Ulysses.
“I want to personally assure our fellowmen here that the government will continue its rescue operations until all families are saved, all casualties and missing persons have been accounted for, and all affected individuals and communities have received their needed relief and other assistance.”
President Duterte urged local government units (LGUs) in the region to actively collaborate with the recently created Task Force for the quick rehabilitation of devastated communities.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the LGUs, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and other private organizations for their relentless efforts to assist typhoon survivors.
“To my countrymen here in Cagayan Valley, rest assured that we are working hard to rebuild your lives after these calamities. We know your anguish and we will respond with urgency,” he said.
“With the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino, I am confident that, together, we will brave all the challenges ahead and emerge stronger as a nation,” he added.
Based on government figures, 24 persons died during the typhoon’s onslaught and several others remain unaccounted. Typhoon Ulysses affected many families in the region.
Agricultural damage was at P186 million, while the damage to infrastructure was over P1.6 billion.
As of Sunday, the President reported that more than a million pesos worth of assistance was provided to Cagayan Valley by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), LGUs, and non-government organizations (NGOs).
The Chief Executive said his government will intensify efforts to prevent the repeat of the disaster by carrying out massive reforestation initiatives and stopping illegal logging and mining.
“I expect our LGUs to do their part in this endeavor,” he said.