MANILA — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Sunday the concerned government agencies are now focused on clearing the roads rendered impassable by typhoon “Ruby” to facilitate the delivery of relief supplies to the affected areas.
“Priority now is on clearing operations on the roads that are not passable… The operations are being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the local government units (LGUs) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in order for us to have clear avenues to deliver the relief supplies and other materials needed in the affected areas,” NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said in a press briefing.
“I also just would like to announce that as soon as the roads are clear or air operations can commence, because in some areas right now, like in Northern Samar, we are awaiting clearance for the aircraft to fly, then initial relief operations will start. We will also be transferring temporarily the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council from Tacloban to Borongan as soon as they can travel toward Borongan,” he added.
He said the Borongan and Catarman airports and also the seaports should be cleared to facilitate the delivery of relief supplies.
“As soon as we get the go-signal, aircraft both from Cebu and from here in Manila, the C-130s, are ready to go. In fact, we are already planning the loads for these aircraft based on what the input from the ground… what are the needed things there,” he added.
Pama noted that at the moment, they did not have validated, verified or confirmed figures on casualties, either deaths or injuries.
He also said that most of the typhoon-hit areas already have communications, and just a while ago they were communicating with the troops and agency members in Catarman, Northern Samar areas.
“We received reports from the telecommunications companies that they are now in the process of fixing their different lines, communications lines. The Chief of Staff (of the AFP) will correct me if I’m wrong, but we already have communications with our forces, the Armed Forces units in areas of Eastern Samar,” Pama explained.
He also mentioned that they are now drafting protocols and procedure on accepting donations and assistance from foreign governments, military organizations, and even private individuals.
“What we’re doing right now… We are now assessing the damages and based on protocols and on the policies, those offers will be responded to in accordance with the needs and the declaration, and the assessment that’s going to be made,” he said.