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Robredo visits Rolly-hit Bicol, gives aid to affected residents

Vice President Leni Robredo visited parts of the Bicol region to distribute relief goods to residents affected by Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni).

Robredo herself had said in a Facebook post on Monday, November 2, that she would go to her home province Camarines Sur as well as Albay and Catanduanes – areas severely hit by the super typhoon that left at least 16 people dead

She left her residence in Manila early Monday morning and arrived in Camarines Sur past 1 pm.

Robredo first visited the Sabang National High School in Calabanga town. The school was being used as an evacuation center when Super Typhoon Rolly battered the province, destroying several classrooms. The Vice President went live on her official Facebook page to show the damage incurred by the school.

Robredo later on talked to several families whose homes along the coastal barangay of Sabang were totally destroyed by the super typhoon. The Vice President and her team distributed relief goods to the communities she visited on Monday.

The Vice President also visited Barangays Salvacion Baybay and San Roque, then La Purisima in Pili by nightfall. Robredo and her team distributed relief goods to the communities she visited on Monday.

In a Facebook post at past 11 pm, Robredo described the scenes she saw on the ground as "heartbreaking," noting that she was able to talk to families whose houses were flattened and to farmers who lost their crops to the typhoon. 

Still, the Vice President thanked the local officials for being on the frontlines to help their people recover from onslaught of Rolly. 

"There are more communities to visit and people to talk to. The scenes are heartbreaking. It is times like this when you wish you had more resources or more mandate," Robredo said. 

"But then you get to talk to barangay officials, tanods, village, village leaders. They are the ones taking care of these people on a daily basis. I am sure their frustrations are far greater than ours. And we can never thank them enough for all the work they are doing for our people," she added. 

ON THE GROUND. Robredo speaks to residents of Barangay Sabang in Calabanga, Camarines Sur on November 2, 2020 in the wake of Super Typhoon Rolly. Photo by OVP

OVP

In photos sent by her office, the Vice President wore her face mask and face shield, since Super Typhoon Rolly hit the Philippines in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. 

CHECKING THE DAMAGE. Robredo visits the Sabang National High School in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, on November 2 2020, following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly. Photo by OVP

OVP

Members of Robredo’s staff and the Vice President Security Detachment helped repack the relief items that Robredo sent to the typhoon-hit areas.

Robredo is a Bicolana, previously serving as congresswoman of Camarines Sur 3rd District before successfully gunning for the vice presidency in 2016. Naga City in Camarines Sur is the Robredo family’s bailiwick. 

The Vice President has been actively monitoring the situation in Naga City and the rest of Bicol and was posting several pictures of Rolly’s devastation in her home province on her personal Facebook page. 

Even before the super typhoon made landfall on Sunday, November 1, the OVP and its partners in Robredo’s flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay distributed food packs to residents in the coastal towns of Calabanga and Magarao in Camarines Sur. 

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan placed the province under a state of calamity on Monday afternoon. 

Netizens have compared the Vice President to President Rodrigo Duterte, who has drawn flak for being missing from action while Rolly ravaged parts of the country. He is now scheduled to conduct an aerial inspection of storm-hit Bicol and Calabarzon on Monday.

Of the 16 fatalities related to the super typhoon, 10 are from Albay and 6 are from Catanduanes. The agency said 3 persons are missing in the municipality of Guinobatan in Albay.

The entire Bicol region also does not have electricity yet as of Monday morning. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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