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Aquino celebrates 52nd birthday visiting quake damaged areas; assures victims of immediate recovery

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DUMAGUETE CITY: President Benigno S. Aquino III spent his 52nd birthday on Wednesday visiting earthquake-affected areas in Guihulngan City and La Libertad in Negros Oriental following a 6.9-magnitude quake that hit the Visayas on Monday.

The President inspected damaged areas and met residents affected by the earthquake. He also oversaw government relief operations in disaster-affected areas.

In an interview following his visits to Guihulngan City and La Libertad, the chief executive assured that there are enough government resources to help affected communities recover from the disaster and bring everything back to normal.

“Siguro more than anything, kanina yung nakita nating problema sa isang bagay na medyo nakakasakit sa damdamin lalo na yung nawalan ng buhay. Pero on the other hand, talaga namang maraming kakayanan ang gobyerno ngayon para maibalik sila as much as possible sa normal na sitwasyon,” the President said.

“So yung maraming kawani ng gobyerno, local, national, may mga NGOs (non-government organizations) rin tumutulong na nagdamay-damay dito para mabawasan nga ‘yung paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan doon.”

The President said he has seen the extent of the damaged particularly in Guihulngan City and La Libertad, which he said may be exacerbated by the continuing aftershocks that according to authorities may last for several more weeks. He also stressed the great necessity of the residents for potable water.

Cabinet members who were with the President during the briefing about the disaster said relief and reconstruction efforts continue to help the affected communities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said around 6,000 food packs are expected to be distributed Wednesday as well as bottled water, tents, blankets and mosquito nets.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman said, cash-for-work program will be provided those affected to help them recover from the disaster and at the same time rebuild their communities.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Energy (DOE) said they are both working to immediately construct damaged roads and bridges including power lines destroyed by the earthquake.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), on the other hand, assured the President about the steady supply of basic commodities as well as ensuring that prices remain at normal levels.

For its part, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it has deployed a public safety battalion to ensure peace and order and help other government agencies transport necessary goods for the affected residents.

By PCOO/PIA9-ZBS




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