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Duterte will travel to additional typhoon-devastated areas.

According to a Palace official, President Rodrigo Duterte is “committed” to visit additional areas affected by Typhoon Odette.

On Saturday, Duterte flew over Siargao, Surigao City, the Dinagat Islands, and Maasin City in Southern Leyte to survey some of the regions affected by Typhoon Odette.

When asked if Duterte will go ahead with his other plans, acting presidential spokesperson Secretary Karlo Nograles did not give a definitive answer, but did say that the President is committed to carrying them out.

“With his close-ins, I’m still confirming ano iyong details niyan.” But ano naman si Pangulo, desidido naman siyang bumisita kagaya ng pagbisita niya sa Caraga at Leyte kahapon. Today, eh, gusto niyang bisitahin naman sa west (I’m still double-checking the details with his close-ups.) The President is determined to visit, as he did yesterday in Caraga and Leyte. He wants to go to the west today),” he remarked in a DZBB interview.

“Say niya, tapos na ako sa east, nakipag-usap na ako sa mga governors ng east, dito na po siya, pa-west na daw siya,” he continued.

As of Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) had confirmed four deaths as a result of “Odette,” with another 27 still under investigation.

Duterte ordered the use of all government assets to speed the delivery of relief and reconstruction activities in regions destroyed by Typhoon Odette during a situation briefing in Maasin City, Leyte on Saturday.

“Ang utos nga ni Pangulo (President’s instruction) is to employ all government resources to ensure that all items are delivered as quickly as possible, particularly in Surigao del Norte and the Dinagat Islands,” Nograles added.

Currently, all hands are on deck to carry out the essential responses to the typhoon-affected areas.

Odette impacted 181,500 families in 2,209 barangays, according to the NDRRMC.

Assistance to the needy

The Philippine Navy (PN) has dispatched a humanitarian aid disaster relief (HADR) team to Surigao City via Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM).

The PN said the team has supplied vital relief materials for impacted residents and will construct an advance command post in Surigao City to control and organize the Navy’s HADR efforts in the area, according to a news release issued on Sunday.

Initial flights by NFEM were undertaken on Dec. 17 to evaluate and analyze the condition of seaports and airports in the area.

On Dec. 18, under the operational direction of NFEM, BRP Hilario Ruiz (PC378) and BRP Rafael Pargas (PC379) transferred 26 locally-stranded individuals (LSIs).

On December 17, prior to the ferry, PC379 personnel fixed the charging station at Dinagat Port, much to the relief of local residents and LSIs. During the storm, the charging station sustained damage.

PC379 also aided the LSIs by allowing them to charge their electronic equipment using the ship’s power.

On December 17, both Navy warships conducted area surveys in the Surigao City, Dinagat, and Siargao Island seaports.

The NFEM continues to work with the local governments of Butuan, Surigao, Siargao, and Dinagat Island to provide aid to those who have been affected.

In the meantime, the Philippine Navy is working with relevant government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations to consolidate relief supplies for the impacted areas.

For the government’s HADR efforts, the PN is ready to deploy multiple warships, including the BRP Tarlac (LD601), BRP Ang Pangulo (ACS25), BRP Bacolod City (LC550), BRP Iwak (LC289), and BRP Agta (LC290).

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