Aquino in Casiguran: Time to consider relocation
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III visited the typhoon-hit town of Casiguran in Aurora on Thursday, October 22, 4 days after Typhoon Lando (Koppu) made landfall in the province.
Aquino was supposed to visit the provincial capital Baler, but eventually decided to go straight to Casiguran, which was isolated for days due to destruction. (READ: Typhoon Lando: 'Nearly 100%' infra damage in Casiguran)
After the briefing with local and national officials in Casiguran, Aquino said it might be time for residents to consider relocating to safer grounds.
“Ulitin ko lang ho, ano? Kanina obserbasyon, may mga lugar na talagang tiyak na mukhang delikado basta may dumating na bagyo. Pag-isipan ho nating mabuti, sulit bang manatili doon na garantisadong tatamaan ka ng malakas kada bagyong darating? Baka maganda na pag-isipan, ilipat sa mas maayos na lugar. So maraming salamat ho sa lahat at asahan ho ninyo ‘yung mga ipinangako sa inyo.” Aquino told families.
(I will just repeat. Based on observation a while ago, there are places that are really prone to dangers during the typhoon season. Let us think carefully: is it worth it to stay there when you are sure to be hit every time a typhoon comes? It may be better if we transfer to a better location. Thank you very much and you can count on my promises to you.)
The President distributed relief goods to the families and drove by damaged infrastructures, such as the St Anthony de Padua Church, Casiguran District Hospital, Calangwasan Integrated School, and Casiguran public market.
Joining Aquino were Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Health Secretary Janet Garin, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, and Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento.
Former Aurora representative and now Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, Aurora Representative Bella Angara-Castillo, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alex Pama, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hernando Iriberri also joined the President in the inspection. (READ: Aurora: Lando knocks down towns still recovering from 2013 typhoon)
At around 3 pm, Aquino left Casiguran and conducted an aerial inspection of other devastated provinces, such as his home province of Tarlac, Pangasinan, Pampanga, and Bulacan.
Enough calamity funds
Despite the huge damage left by Typhoon Lando, Malacañang assured the public that there are sufficient calamity funds in the government coffers.
“Ayon kay Secretary [Florencio] Abad, sa pagpupulong noong nakaraang Biyernes, mayroon pang about P8 billion na balance sa calamity fund,” Coloma said on Thursday, October 22.
(According to Secretary Abad during last Friday's meeting, the government still has P8 billion in calamity fund.)
At least 20 typhoons enter the country each year. Coloma said gauging from the experiences in 2014, typhoons are to be expected even in December. – Rappler.com