MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III believes in the government’s ability to address needs of Filipinos who were affected by Tropical Storm Mario, which lashed Metro Manila and neighboring areas Friday.
In a briefing with journalists in Berlin, Germany, which was aired over state radio station Radio ng Bayan Saturday, Aquino said he is always updated by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. on the developments regarding the storm.
He vowed to immediately return to the country if his presence and decisions are needed.
He, on the other hand, cited that he has been assured by Ochoa and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin among others, that they can handle the situation.
He also said that food packs are available for the affected families who are currently in the various evacuation centers and stressed that the various government agencies tasked to address the situation are doing their best to help the evacuees.
According to the weather bureau, Tropical Storm Mario was spotted some 137 km northwest of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte in northern Luzon at about 4am Saturday with a maximum sustained winds of 95 km/hr and gustiness of up to 120km/hr.
At least three casualties have been recorded after the storm brought heavy rains and flooding in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
This problem of worsening situation caused by climate change is the reason why the President thinks he needs to attend the UN Summit on climate change in the US at the last leg of his Europe-US trip.
He said the Philippines’ contribution to the summit, in terms of experience, is a big help in addressing the problem.
For one, the country suffered badly when Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), being considered as among the strongest typhoon in the world to date, destroyed Eastern Visayas in November 2013.