By Genalyn Kabiling
With disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts switched to the “highest level,” the government has readied P1.7 billion worth of relief assistance for communities that will be affected by a potential super typhoon.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said authorities have also placed land, air and sea assets on standby for the deployment of additional rescue teams and relief supplies to areas on the path of typhoon Ompong.
Typhoon Ompong has entered the country’s area of responsibility threatening to dump torrential rains in Northern Luzon. The latest weather disturbance, which is expected to make landfall in Cagayan on Saturday morning, might reportedly intensify into a super typhoon.
“We’re still praying that we could be spared somehow… but we have to be ready. Better to be prepared than sorry,” Roque said during a news conference in Malacañang.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prepared the food packs and other relief supplies worth P1.7 billion while the Department of Health (DOH) has set aside medicines and other supplies and would deploy medical teams to typhoon-affected areas.
He said the Department of Interior and Local Government has also activated its reporting systems to monitor the disaster preparations and response of local government units .
Quick response teams have also been deployed in typhoon-affected areas while alternative communication devices have been established to keep contact with affected lgus, according to Roque.
“We reminding the public to stay alert and be safe,” he said.
Roque made the remarks ahead of President Duterte’s command conference with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) in Camp Aguinaldo Thursday afternoon.
He said Duterte wanted to ensure “our state for readiness for Ompong will be at its highest level.”
“We’re prepared and to make sure that we are 100 percent prepared, the President decided to have that command conference in the NDRRMC premises,” he said.