BBM orders continuous relief aid to quake-hit areas in Mindanao

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday instructed government officials to continue the relief operations in areas affected by Friday’s earthquake in Mindanao.

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office said Marcos is constantly monitoring the situation as he met with officials online while in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Present during the meeting were Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, Social Welfare Undersecretary Edu Punay and Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, among others.

“Let’s just be vigilant. Let’s keep watching. We must pay attention to aftershocks because sometimes maraming nagiging casualty sa aftershock (there are many casualties during aftershocks),” Marcos said during the meeting.

Marcos ordered the officials to ensure the safety of the residents, noting the spread of fake news regarding tsunami hitting the region.

“Actually, that’s a valid concern pagka lindol … if there is going to be any movement from the sea, it would have happened already kasi hindi naman malayo. Napakalapit ng epicenter (Actually, that’s a valid concern after the earthquake… if there is going to be any movement from the sea, it would have happened already because it’s not far. The epicenter is very close),” Marcos said.

“But anyway, about aftershocks, let’s just keep watching. Let’s keep waiting. Let’s not pull our people just yet until mag-subside ‘yan para makasiguro tayo na walang ma-injure o mamatay (Let’s not pull our people just yet until that subsides so we can be sure that no one will be injured or die),” he added.

In a related development, House Deputy Majority Leader for Communications and ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo said Congress would work closely with the Department of Public Works and Highways to ensure that the rehabilitation of infrastructures destroyed during the 6.8 magnitude quake would not hit a snag.

Tulfo visited the earthquake-affected areas in General Santos City and Sarangani province on Sunday upon the instruction of Speaker Martin Romualdez to identify available resources for relief and recovery efforts and distribute aid.

“The House of Representatives, in partnership with President Bongbong Marcos, would move to mobilize resources needed for rehabilitation and recovery aid in areas greatly affected by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake,” Tulfo quoted the Speaker as saying.

Tulfo said they are now looking for funds that can be utilized for rehabilitation and immediate livelihood aid.“Marami talaga ang nasira. Hindi lang mga tulay at kalsada, lumubog rin ang malaking bahagi ng Glan Fish Port. Sa Sarangani pa lang, ang initial estimate PHP200 million ang kakailanganin. Hinihintay pa natin ang ibang assessment pati sa General Santos City at Davao Occidental. Ilang daang milyong piso ang kakailanganin natin para sa ating mga kababayan (A lot were destroyed. Not only the bridges and roads, a big portion of the Glan Fish Port also sank. In Sarangani alone, the initial estimate needed is PHP200 million. We are awaiting the other assessments, including those in General Santos City and Davao Occidental. Hundreds of millions of pesos are needed for our countrymen),” Tulfo added. PNA

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