MANILA, November 11 (Mabuhay) — Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Monday appealed to local government executives of areas spared by super typhoon “Yolanda” to mobilize personnel and resources in aid of communities now reeling from the destruction brought about by the cyclone.
Roxas, in a statement, particularly called on governors and mayors of provinces, towns and cities not affected by “Yolanda” to extend assistance to the typhoon-stricken areas.
”The effect of typhoon ‘Yolanda’ was terrible especially in Eastern and Western Visayas. I appeal to the governors and mayors from areas that were not affected by the typhoon. let us do whatever we can to send assistance to our people in the calamity-stricken areas,” said Roxas.
Roxas also called on the private sector to send technical experts and volunteers, particularly those capable of extending assistance in the restoration of communication lines, power and water supply, clearing of debris and medical assistance.
The DILG chief flew to Tacloban City with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin last Nov. 7 to check how local government units were complying with the directive to activate their local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) and evacuate residents from danger zones.
The two Cabinet members, who are vice chairmen of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC), were still in Tacloban City when the Supertyphoon entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and made landfall in Eastern Visayas last Friday.
According to Roxas, Tacloban City and other coastline communities of Leyte appeared to suffer the biggest number of casualties and the most extensive damage to property as a result of storm surges brought by Yolanda.
He explained that governors and mayors in typhoon-devastated areas were having difficulty in assessing the extent of damage in their communities due to breakdown of telecommunications and impediment to land travel.
“Sa laki ng pinsala, kakailanganin natin ang pagmamalasakit ng mga local government units na hindi tinamaan ng bagyo. Sa ganitong klase ng kalamidad, napapanahon na ibalik muli ang nakagisnan nating tradisyon ng bayanihan,” Roxas said.
Secretary Roxas advised the governors and mayors not affected by the typhoon to get in touch with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and coordinate efforts on how to send relief and assistance to devastated communities in central Philippines.
Most needed in the affected areas, Roxas said, are technical experts in restoring communication and power lines.
He said the governors and mayors may also send their Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel and equipment, particularly chainsaws and backhoes, to render assistance to individuals who may still be trapped in isolated areas.
The affected communities, he added, would also need engineers to determine the structural integrity of public buildings such as municipal halls, public markets, hospitals, school buildings and other structures used as evacuation centers.
For relief goods, Roxas cited the need for food, water, medicine, blankets, clothes, tents, tarpaulins and other materials that may be used for temporary shelter.
He noted that these personnel, equipment, materials and relief goods may now be transported directly to most of the affected areas, especially in areas where the Department of Public Works and Higways (DPWH) succeeded in clearing major highways and road arteries of debris.
Drop off points for relief goods/donations include DSWD NROC, Chapel Road, Pasay City (going to NAIA2) – Tel. No. 02-8512681; PNP Gymnasium, Camp Crame, Quezon City (c/o Supt. Teroy Taguinod) – Mobile No. 0915-3338685 / Tel. No. 02-7220650; Operation Tulong Bayan, Balai, EDSA cor. McArthur Ave., Cubao, Quezon City – Tel. No. 02-9136254; The Commissary at Whitespace, 2341 Chino Roces Ave. Extension (formerly Pasong Tamo Ext.), Makati – Tel. No. 02-7290030. (MNS)