Duterte to visit Urduja-affected Biliran

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas struck by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak) in Biliran in Eastern Visayas on Monday, December 18.

"The President will arrive at 2 pm in Biliran," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in Filipino in an interview with radio station DWFM.

Duterte will be accompanied by Roque, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Social Welfare and Development officer-in-charge Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, and Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

Roque, in an interview with radio station DZRH, said the President will check on the situation in Biliran and is likely to give assistance to the local government unit or to affected families. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Urduja)

"The President will determine what is the most urgent need of Biliran and relay that the government is one with them," said Roque in Filipino.

It was in Biliran where landslides due to Urduja killed at least 26 people, according to local authorities.

Roque said it's also possible that Duterte will drop by Tacloban City in Leyte. (LOOK: Urduja pummels Tacloban City)

Urduja tore across the major islands of Samar and Leyte on Saturday, December 16, as a tropical storm. It eventually weakened into a tropical depression on Sunday, December 17.

Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, trips were canceled, and roads and bridges were damaged.

Based on its latest forecast track, Urduja will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday, December 19. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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