February 8, 2024

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos on Wednesday said water purification teams from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on instructions of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., will be deployed in the flood and landslide-hit areas in Davao and Caraga.
Abalos made the announcement following a situation briefing presided by President Marcos at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier reported that some 1.12 million people were affected by massive flooding and landslides caused by the trough of a low-pressure area in Davao and Caraga.

The NDRRMC was also verifying reports that the number of fatalities has increased to 18, with 11 injured and three missing.

During the meeting, Abalos emphasized the importance of access to clean water during emergencies and suggested to President Marcos to dispatch the MMDA purification teams in affected areas.

“I just called up the MMDA and they are more than willing to send their teams here to help our LGUs (local government units),”Abalos said, noting that 80 portable water purification machines will be sent by MMDA on Thursday to help the flood victims.

One unit of a mobile water purifying machine can convert 180 gallons of potable water per hour which the affected residents could use for their daily needs such as washing, cooking, drinking, and cleaning.

In the same briefing, President Marcos ordered the immediate release of P265 -M in financial assistance to the victims which will be sourced from his office.

Abalos added the Philippine National Police, and the Bureau of Fire Protection have also deployed their respective teams to assist the victims.

This, as Abalos lauded the local chief executives for their prompt response and for carrying out the critical actions listed in the department’s “Operation Listo” disaster preparedness manual that helped mitigate the impact of the flooding, to which President Marcos agreed.

“Yes, I agree. If there’s any good news here in this (calamity) is that the quick response of the local governments has minimized the casualty rate,”the President said.

President Marcos also listened to the reports from the provincial governments of Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, and Davao City.

For his part, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro reported that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in coordination with the PNP, has devoted at least six helicopters and two naval vessels, along with the land assets of the Philippine Army, to help in the logistical effort of the government.