Marcos assures assistance for quake victims, to fly to Abra for inspection

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ensured that the government would immediately provide assistance to those affected by the 7.3-magnitude quake that had its epicenter in Abra on Wednesday morning.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Malacañang photo)

In a tweet, Marcos also asked the earthquake victims to remain alert.

"Ating sinisigurado ang maagap na pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayang apektado ng sakunang ito (We assure you of the immediate response to the needs of our fellowmen in areas affected by this disaster)," he said.

"Kadagiti kakailiak nangruna ta Abra, agridamtayo ken umasideg kadagiti kameng ti gobyerno no agkasapulan iti tulong (To my fellowmen in Abra, remain vigilant and reach out to government officials if you need help)," Marcos added, speaking to the victims in Ilocano.

In a press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said President Marcos would immediately visit the areas affected by the earthquake as soon as he was given the all-clear signal. However, visiting areas outside Abra would depend on the authorities' assessment.

"He will make an inspection of the disaster areas as soon as he's given the all-clear, as long as it is safe for him to travel and to do so," she said.

"It (Visit to other areas) will depend. Let's make an assessment first. He will go to all those areas where it is necessary, that his presence will be necessary," she added.

According to Angeles, Marcos may cancel his other engagements to focus on the government's disaster response efforts.

"Right now, nakatutok siya dito sa ating (he's focused on) disaster relief and response. Ngayon pa lang po dumarating ang feedback natin (We are just getting the feedback) about the extent of the damage in certain areas," she said.

"The President will most likely put this as his priority and most likely might cancel certain appointments," she added.

Angeles also noted that President Marcos was willing to release additional funds, if necessary, to aid the earthquake victims.

Meanwhile, the Palace official said Marcos has been coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"He has ordered an immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams to Abra," she said.

"The President is also coordinating with the local officials there and all agencies involved in disaster preparation and relief. Equipment for use, all of these have been ordered dispatched by the President," she reported.

In addition, Angeles said the President called on telecommunications companies to provide immediate assistance and free communication service in all locations where the towers have gone down to keep communication channels open.