Press Release
December 30, 2021

PRRD, Bong Go visit Typhoon Odette victims, survey damage in Negros Oriental

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in Negros Oriental on Wednesday, December 29, to personally meet with the typhoon victims and inspect the recovery and rebuilding efforts there in the wake of Typhoon Odette.

Together with Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Roland Bautista, Duterte and Go arrived in Sibulan early afternoon where they received a situation briefing from local officials. Among those present during the meeting were 1st District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong, 2nd District Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria and Governor Roel Degamo.

The President then led the ceremonial turnover of relief goods and essential supplies at the municipal gymnasiums in Bais City and Manjuyod. Go also gave away new pairs of shoes, bicycles, cell phones and computer tablets to select individuals.

When asked, the beneficiaries assured the President that they had received the P5,000 cash assistance from the government. The latter then appealed to concerned authorities to provide kitchen and other common household supplies to the families who lost everything they owned to the typhoon.

For his part, Go expressed gratitude to the local officials and national agencies who are working overtime to get things back to normal and build back better. He reassured the victims that the whole government is doing everything it can to provide the assistance they need as quickly as possible.

"Sa mga kababayan namin dito sa Negros Oriental, 'wag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa dahil hindi namin kayo pababayaan. Handa ang gobyerno na tulungan kayo. Patuloy namin na paglilingkuran ang mga nangangailangan sa abot ng aming makakaya. Kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas, pupuntahan namin kayo para pakinggan ang inyong hinaing, magbigay ng tulong, at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati," vowed Go.

As of December 29, official reports indicated a death toll of 74 people in the province. A total of 475,501 individuals were affected by the typhoon, 31,833 of whom were evacuated, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Meanwhile, many coastal municipalities such as Manjuyod are still without power while thousands of residents are in dire need of food and drinking water.

On December 18, two days after Typhoon Odette hit, Go also accompanied the President during aerial inspections of Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, the Dinagat Islands and Southern Leyte. During a briefing in Maasin City, President Duterte pledged to release P1 billion in calamity funds to the affected local government units and another billion to the concerned government agencies to augment recovery efforts.

They were likewise on hand to comfort victims and encourage first responders in Cebu, Bohol and Negros Island from December 19 to 20. As promised, they returned to Siargao Island and the Dinagat Islands on December 22, to oversee the recovery efforts there.

To fast track all rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts, President Duterte issued Proclamation No. 1267 on December 21, which placed MIMAROPA, Regions VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), VIII (Eastern Visayas), X, (Northern Mindanao) and XIII (Caraga) under a state of calamity. The declaration will remain in effect for a year unless earlier rescinded or modified.

In addition to hastening the delivery of government and humanitarian assistance, the proclamation also directs all concerned agencies to provide or augment the basic services and facilities in the affected areas. It likewise orders law enforcement agencies, along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to undertake the necessary measures to ensure peace and order.

"Sa totoo lang, nalulungkot kami. Sumisikip ang aking dibdib pag nakikita ko ang mga kababayan natin na nanghihingi ng tulong. Kung pwede niyong matulungan ang ating mga kababayan ... importante ngayon ang pagkain at tubig. Importante dito ang makabalik kaagad sila sa normal na pamumuhay," appealed Go.

"Kami naman ni Pangulong Duterte, tuluy-tuloy ang aming pag-iikot at pagtulong upang ma-address kaagad ang mga ganitong problema. Return to normalcy kaagad ang gustong mangyari ni Pangulong Duterte. Magbayanihan tayo upang malampasan ang mga pagsubok na ito," he added.

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