MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has been criticized for being abroad while Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten) battered her home region of Bicol. But on Monday, December 26, Robredo’s spokesperson said the Vice President is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with her team.
“ Vice President Leni Robredo has been monitoring and directing the Office of the Vice President to work with regional officials and agencies in setting up local relief centers for immediate emergency response on the ground,” said Georgina Hernandez in a statement.
“The OVP is also coordinating with the Angat Buhay partners and other private sector groups in Manila for donations, both food and non-food items that can be transported and deployed to Bicol,” Hernandez added.
“Furthermore, the Vice President has been in constant communication with her team since Friday [December 23]. She has also deployed a team in Bicol to assist local relief operations.”
Robredo is currently in the United States for a family reunion, which Hernandez said was planned more than a year ago.
“She will be going home to Naga as soon as she arrives,” the Vice President’s spokesperson added.
According to the Local Government Code of 1991, local government units (LGUs) are the ones expected to be at the frontline of emergency measures in the aftermath of disasters. (READ: The role of LGUs, local councils during disasters)
Before getting elected to the country’s second highest post, Robredo served as congresswoman of Camarines Sur’s 3rd District.
Camarines Sur is now under a state of calamity following Nina’s onslaught.
Hernandez urged the public to help everyone affected by the typhoon, which made landfall right on Christmas Day.
“While we have faith in the resilience of our people, we still call on the Filipino public to help out in the ongoing relief efforts of all agencies and private sector partners to alleviate suffering in typhoon-hit areas during this very special time of the year,” she said.
“ In the spirit of Christmas, let us give hope to many of our brothers and sisters and enable them to bounce back faster from this latest trial in their lives.” – Rappler.com