Government ‘on top of situation’, Duterte tells typhoon-hit Luzon
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) – November 12, 2020 – 3:08pm
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte asserted that the government is “on top of the situation” after Typhoon Ulysses barreled through, and dumped rains on, the south of Luzon through the night.
“From the beginning various government agencies have already been mobilized to respond to the situation on the ground,” Duterte said in a recorded address aired Thursday past noon.
Ulysses hammered Metro Manila and nearby provinces overnight, triggering flash floods that reach up to roofs. In Marikina, water level in the river breached the record of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009, submerging nearly 40,000 homes.
In its 11 a.m. bulletin, Pagasa located Ulysses over the West Philippine Sea, and Metro Manila and its nearby provinces were downgraded to Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2.
Government will do its best
Duterte also called on local government units and agencies to ensure that the Filipino people’s well-being and safety are prioritized. “I guarantee you that your government will do its best to provide assistance in the form of shelters relief goods financial aid and post-disaster counselling,” he said.
The president said the government has acquired new assets, such as fast vessels and choppers that may be used to help the public.
“Lahat, pati mga sundalo nauna na po iyan. ‘Yon pa lang dumating ang advsiory sa atin, nakapondo na yung mga tao. The goods are there, the people have been mobilized and deployed, kaya pagdating ng bagyo andyan nagtrabaho na sila,” he added.
(Everything, even soldiers, has been there even earlier. From when we received the advisory, people have been deployed. The goods are there, the people have been mobilized, so when the storm came, they started working.)
Duterte also took a swipe at those criticizing and looking for him amid the onslaught. He said they have not been sleeping at the Palace, and he had delivered the Philippines’ message before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit earlier Thursday.
Coast Guard deploys teams
Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro early in the morning appealed to the national government to help them rescue the citizens that have climbed up to their roofs to seek help.
The Philippine Coast Guard said that as of 2:00 p.m., it sent out 31 rescue teams, composed of at least 248 personnel to help in rescue and evacuation of affected families in Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite.
It added that it sent out 10 rubber boats, six aluminium boats, 11 multipurpose vehicles and three trucks to the affected areas.
PCG also deployed BN Islander plane to conduct aerial surveillance in Marikina, Rizal and Camanava area. It added that two airbus light twin engine helicopters will be deployed for aerial rescue operation.
The Coast Guard said it is prioritizing elderly and women in evacuation in Provident Village in Marikina City, that was hit hardly by Ulysses.