MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, December 27, visited Catanduanes and Camarines Sur – two provinces in the Bicol Region badly hit by Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten).
In Camarines Sur – a province placed under state of calamity on Monday morning, December 26 – Duterte urged the immediate return to normalcy following the typhoon.
“The thing is, after whatever it is, catastrophe, war, sunog, calamity, is really to go back immediately to the normal ways. Huwag na tayong maghintay and wallow in self-pity, nakakaawa tayo. Balik na kaagad kayo kinabukasan. We return to normalcy ASAP, as soon as possible,” he explained.
(The thing is, after whatever it is, catastrophe, war, fire, calamity, is really to go back immediately to the normal ways. Let’s not wait anymore and wallow in self-pity, we’re only pitiful. Let’s immediately go back to normal tomorrow. We return to normalcy ASAP, as soon as possible.)
Duterte said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is already making overall assessments of the situation in typhoon-hit areas.
“Then, nandito po si [Energy] Secretary Al Cusi, so nandito siya because I know ‘yung electric ninyo. So ang order ko sa kanya as soon as possible. But give us time…to get things done, pero at least nandito na kami,” he added, assuring Bicolanos that he and his delegation on Tuesday came to help and “nothing more.”
(Then, Energy Secretary Al Cusi is also here, so he’s here because I know your electricity. My order to him is as soon as possible. But give us time…to get things done, but at least we’re already here.)
“Wala na akong ibang pinuntahan dito, ‘yung aming trabaho lang. Purely trabaho (I did not come here for anything else, only our work. Purely work only),” the President added.
He also said that at least P50 million will be allotted for agricultural needs post-typhoon.
Earlier, in Catanduanes, Duterte gave a short speech at the provincial capitol, where he said he won’t be doing the ceremonial distribution of relief goods. He said it made him feel uneasy, and called the practice political propaganda.
“Ayaw na ayaw ko niyan (I really do not like that),” he said, referring to the usual practice of government officials giving relief goods to a few people infront of the cameras, before the entire lot is given to the beneficiaries.
He instead told the crowd at the capital Virac, led by local officials, that the national government will immediately provide assistance, with the amount finalized before the New Year.
Typhoon Nina has since weakened into a severe tropical storm after making landfall in the country for a total of 8 times. Its first two landfalls happened in Bato, Catanduanes and Sagñay, Camarines Sur on Christmas Day.
The typhoon left at least 6 people dead and 19 others missing. – Rappler.com