President Benigno S. Aquino III is scheduled to visit typhoon-ravaged areas in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Dumaguete tomorrow to personally oversee the ongoing relief efforts by the government and inspect the damages wrought by the disaster, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters at a news briefing on Monday in Malacanang that the President will be having briefings from local government officials in the said areas and will take some time to discuss with them their concerns.
“He (President Aquino) will be briefed also by the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) there in Cagayan de Oro and he will fly to Iligan and then to Dumaguete to inspect the damages and also to provide relief efforts as well,” he added.
Lacierda said the President would have wanted to visit as early as Sunday but the Presidential Security Group as well as the Department of National Defense advised him to reschedule it for Tuesday citing bad weather conditions as the primary reason.
After he was informed of the extent of the damages inflicted by storm ‘Sendong’ on the government and the people of Northern Mindanao, President Aquino has been in touch constantly with his Cabinet officials that were already on the ground.
Lacierda said the President regularly gives instructions and receives updates from Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Benito Ramos who were already on the ground.
“The President was very much aware of what was going on and he made sure that all relief efforts and all necessary efforts insofar as search and rescue are given to the people affected,” he stressed, dispelling talks that the Chief Executive was again missing in action in times of crisis.