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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte visited the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela on Sunday, October 23, 4 days after Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) struck.
Duterte arrived in Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan, at around noon. He conducted an aerial inspection to get a firsthand look at the damage before talking to residents and government officials at the Tuguegarao People’s Gymnasium.
The President was joined by some of his Cabinet secretaries and several Cagayan officials.
In his speech, Duterte vowed that the government would help farmers whose crops were destroyed during the onslaught of the super typhoon.
He said the government has already provided immediate assistance of thousands of kilograms of corn, rice, and vegetable seeds.
Duterte also the farmers would receive a “big slice” from the funds that China pledged to the Philippines when he visited Beijing.
“Ito sa agriculture, I promise you a big slice. Mechanized farming ang usapan namin pati ‘yung importante… Seedlings pati abono, importante talaga,” he said.
(For agriculture, I promise you a big slice. We talked about mechanized farming and also what’s important… seedlings and fertilizer, these are really important.)
The President added that he is planning to revive the agricultural programs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“Gusto ko lang kunin ‘yung idea ni Marcos, malayo na ‘yon, ‘yung Biyayang Dagat pati Masagana 99. Ibalik ko ‘yon. Kokopyahin ko,” he said.
(I want to revive Marcos’ ideas, from a long time ago, the Biyayang Dagat and Masagana 99 programs. I want to revive those. I’ll copy those programs.)
Duterte also cited the effects of climate change on the strength of typhoons battering the Philippines.
He chided the United States and other rich countries for their high emissions of carbon dioxide, which he said is causing damage to smaller countries that produce lower levels of emissions.
“I do not agree with the formula or equation because it is not fair,” he said, while adding that he plans to boost industrialization.
“I will develop my country in accordance to the needs of my people. Marami na kasing tao. Kailangan kong gumamit na ng maraming makina. Kapag pipigilan ninyo ako, paano ko pakakainin ang mga kababayan ko? (The Philippines’ population is growing. We need to use many machines. If you stop me, how will I feed my countrymen?)”
After visiting Cagayan, the President headed for Ilagan, Isabela, where he also spoke to typhoon survivors.
In Ilagan, he mentioned his administration’s priorities and promised that funds would not be stolen or go to waste.
“Ang thrust kasi ng gobyerno ko is ang first, education, second is agriculture, third is health… Every centavo, every centavo, pupunta talaga sa tao ‘yan. I can assure you dito sa gobyerno iyang trillion na ‘yan kung magdating will be used precisely and entirely for the benefit of the Filipino people,” Duterte said.
(The thrust of my government is first, education, second is agriculture, third is health… Every centavo, every centavo will really go to the people. I can assure you that in my administration all the trillions will be used precisely and entirely for the benefit of the Filipino people.)
He added: “So ganito, pagka dumating ‘yung aid, at sana nama’y… I’m sure it’s coming our way. Binibilisan ‘yan. There will be a distribution.”
(So it’s like this, when aid arrives, I hope it does… I’m sure it’s coming our way. We’ll fast-track it. There will be a distribution.) – Rappler.com