Robredo sees ‘heartbreaking’ devastation in Siargao, Dinagat Islands

Published December 19, 2021, 9:48 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, Dec. 19, visited typhoon-hit Surigao City, Siargao and Dinagat Islands, and shared a “heartbreaking” picture of former tourist spots, stranded foreigners, and affected livelihoods.

Vice President Leni Robredo meets with local officials on relief efforts and assistance for those affected by Typhoon Odette in Siargao. (Photo from Robredo via Facebook)

The Vice President previously went to Bohol and Cebu City, both of which were ravaged by Typhoon Odette before the weekend.

“The trip was a challenge because all communication lines are still down in these places and there are still many places that are hard to reach,” she said in a Facebook post.

“Sobrang (It is too) heartbreaking ‘yung (the) devastation na nakita namin (that we saw),” Robredo added.

The lady official promised to post pictures and videos in batches, but started with those of Siargao.

Typhoon Odette leaves Siargao Island ravaged. (Leni Gerona Robredo/Facebook)

Robredo said the video she posted was that of General Luna, the main strip of resorts and businesses being visited by domestic and foreign tourists.

The video showed toppled streetlights, lamp posts, and trees. The road is littered with debris while some buildings have been flattened and those that stood have tattered roofs.

She said that there is not much help that reached Siargao, and there is still no electricity while their food supplies are dwindling.

Robredo also shared that many tourists were stranded on the island, so her team will be contacting different airlines to ask if they can add flights to take out those stranded there.

This photo was taken by Vice President Leni Robredo during her visit to Siargao on Sunday, Dec. 19.

“Walang kuryente. Malapit na silang maubusan ng pagkain. Nabasa ‘yung lahat na bigas na prepositioned sana nila (No electricity. They are almost out of food. The rice that they prepositioned got wet),” she wrote.

But Robredo wasn’t just there to see the devastation nor bring aid. She was also there to meet with local officials on how they can “immediately” help them.

Part of the immediate help the province would need is intended for the coconut farmers because their crops were flattened by Odette.

They also discussed how to help the business owners especially because tourism is one of the main means of livelihood of Siargao residents.

“Halos lahat na bahay, nasira. Karamihan (Almost all houses have been damaged. Almost all), totally damaged. Yung ibang mas malalaki (The other bigger ones), partially damaged din (too),” she noted.

“Pagtulungan po natin lahat ang kanilang muling pagbangon (Let us help in their recovery),” Robredo said.

Meanwhile, 2,200 packs of rice and 1,548 bags of relief goods were sent by Robredo‘s and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan’s volunteers to Surigao del Norte and Siargao Island through Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) BRP Gabriela Silang.

They packed the goods at the Leni-Kiko volunteer center in Katipunan, Quezon City. This has been turned into a relief operations center for the thousands of families affected by the typhoon.