MANILA — Despite difficulties in the transportation of relief goods, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas assured on Tuesday that all local government units (LGUs) affected by typhoon “Ruby” will get assistance from the national government.
“We are doing our very best effort to coordinate and communicate with all affected LGUs to ensure that relief goods are delivered to those who need them,” Roxas said.
As soon as typhoon Ruby, later downgraded into storm and now tropical depression, left Eastern Samar, Roxas led the National Frontline Team in the inspection of nearby municipalities, starting with San Julian and Dolores, where the typhoon made the first landfall on Saturday evening.
The team even had to use motorcycles to travel the 65-kilometer distance between Borongan and Dolores amid uprooted trees and fallen power lines just to reach their destination quickly.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), there were more than 230,000 families or about a million individuals staying in 3,640 evacuation centers in all affected areas at the onset of Ruby’s series of landfalls.
Initial reports from Eastern Samar alone said that there were 233 evacuation centers in 19 municipalities, with a total of 14,990 families or 76,594 individuals.
Roxas has established a 24/7 Operations Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City to coordinate preparations and immediate responses to the needs of affected LGUs nationwide.
Through the operations center, the DILG is able to determine the preliminary number of evacuees and casualties, and even the particular needs of each municipality.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and we welcome any voluntary assistance from people who are eager to help out,” Roxas said.