MANILA – The national government is on constant communication with local government units (LGUs) not only to oversee the situation but also to make sure steady flow of goods will continue in areas hit by typhoon “Ruby,” according to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on Sunday.
In a Malacanang statement read over DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, Valte said the Frontline Team of the national government continues to monitor the situation on the ground and assess the damage brought about by the typhoon.
”This morning, the Frontline Team held a briefing during which they gave updates on the ground situation and noted that structural damage was caused mostly by winds, not by storm surge,” Valte said.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as of 6 a.m. Sunday, a total of 146,875 families have been evacuated in Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, and CARAGA.
”At the national level, government agencies remain in constant communication with one another,” the Palace official said.
She said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been working to ensure the steady flow of goods to affected areas.
”Secretary Gregory Domingo has been coordinating with suppliers to restore the diminishing stock of necessities such as sardines, noodles, candles, and matches,” Valte said
In addition, Valte said some manufacturers have already pledged to enable the faster roll-out of “Diskwento” Caravans, offering their goods at discounted prices.
”Having gleaned lessons from our Typhoon Yolanda experience, the DTI will roll out the Caravans as soon as possible, whenever the weather permits,” she said.
Valte also said the national government continues to be on alert and is constantly monitoring both the ground situation and supply coordination efforts.
”As we go through this storm in the following days, let us remain calm and vigilant, and bolster our government’s efforts to disseminate accurate information,” she said.
Valte said President Benigno Aquino III is also constantly monitoring the situation as typhoon “Ruby” made its first landfall in Eastern Samar Saturday evening and second landfall in Masbate Sunday morning.
”The President was notified that the frontline team in Borongan, Samar is safe, and that the President gave them specific orders on the quickness and swiftness of damage assessment,” she said.
“The President wants to make sure that there is no letup in our vigilance, in our ground actions to continue to assist the LGUs (local government units) on the ground that are affected,” she added.
So far, no report of casualty has been reported, specifically in the areas severely affected by heavy rains and strong winds brought by Ruby, according to Valte.