Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr directs Bicol LGUs to review disaster preparedness plans

2024 June 7

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. directs local government units in the Bicol Region to review their disaster preparedness plans in his speech during the distribution of assistance to farmers, fisherfolk and families in Legazpi City, Albay on Friday (June 7, 2024). A total of PHP162 million were extended by President Marcos to those affected by the El Niño phenomenon, along with other government assistance and services. (RTVM Screengrab)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday directed local government units in the Bicol Region to review their disaster preparedness plans as the Philippines enters the wet season.

Part of the preparedness plan is putting in place evacuation procedures and having emergency supplies, such as food, water, medicine, and other essentials available, Marcos noted during the distribution of presidential assistance to farmers, fisherfolk, and families in Legazpi City, Albay.

“Dito po sa Region V ay maraming bagyo na [ang dumaan] pero dahil sa angking tapang at tatag ninyo, [nakababangon] kayo ng buong-lakas at buong-puso. Kaya naman inaatasan ko ang lokal na pamahalaan at lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan dito sa Region V na suriing muli ang mga plano ninyo [inihanda] sa tuwing may banta [ng] sakuna. Siguraduhin na ligtas ang lahat (Several typhoons have hit Region V, yet you were able to rise again with full vigor and heart because of your inner courage and resilience. That is why I am directing the local governments and all the government agencies here in Region V to reassess your plans whenever there is a threat of disaster. Make sure everybody is safe),” Marcos said. 

Last week, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) officially announced the start of the rainy season.

It also warned that there is a high chance of La Niña developing during the July-September period.

According to the weather bureau, La Niña would increase the likelihood of above-normal rainfall in some parts of the country, especially toward the end of the year.

Financial assistance worth PHP162 million was extended to farmers and fisherfolk affected by the El Niño phenomenon, along with various other government assistance and services.

The President turned over PHP10.28 million in cash to Camarines Norte Governor Ricarte Padilla and PHP50 million to Camarines Sur Governor Luigi Villafuerte during the distribution of land titles, support services and financial assistance in Pili, Camarines Sur.

President Marcos also distributed over PHP41.55 million in financial assistance to Albay Governor Edcel Grex Lagman; PHP10.23 million to Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua; PHP36.79 million to Masbate Governor Antonio Kho; and PHP13 million to Sorsogon Governor Jose Edwin Hamor.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said no El Niño-related state of calamity was declared in the Bicol Region as of June 6 but the weather phenomenon has affected 80,479 families or 368,360 individuals from 918 villages.

A total 11,252.11 hectares of agricultural land were damaged and total production loss reached 21,333.88 metric tons worth PHP532.87 million.

Affected families received PHP26.25 million worth of assistance while the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) prepositioned nearly 40,000 family food packs worth PHP27.22 million along with PHP223.24 million worth of standby funds and stockpile.

President Marcos also led the distribution of 2,115 certificates of land ownership award and electronic titles to 1,965 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

The President likewise distributed 617 farm machinery and equipment worth PHP20.66 million to ARBs while eight completed farm-to-market road projects worth PHP193 million were turned over to different local government units in Camarines Sur.

President Marcos said nine other FMR projects, amounting to PHP675 million, are already in the pipeline.

In his speech during the distribution of aid in Albay, President Marcos assured El Niño-hit farmers, fisherfolk, and their families that the government will provide all necessary assistance, even to those in far-flung areas.

“Titiyakin po natin na ang bawat ayuda na [ipapamahagi] namin ay [makakarating] sa lahat ng mga pinaka-nangangailangan. Ang hiling ko lang sa ating mga benepisyaryo ay samantalahin ninyo ang pagkakataon na ito upang makabangon at makapagsimula muli (We will ensure that every aid that we provide reaches those who are most in need. My only request to our beneficiaries is to make the most of this opportunity to rise and start again),” Marcos said.

“Basta lahat ng mga paraan na makakatulong sa inyong pagiging produktibo, suportado ko at ng inyong pamahalaan. Magtulungan po tayo, at tiyak na lahat tayo ay sabay-sabay na babangon (All the ways [to help] you become productive will be supported by me and your government. Let’s help each other out and I’m confident that we will all rise together),” he added. 

 Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)