At the situation briefing in Tandag, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday, the President asked government officials to assist victims, help the province’s agriculture sector, and repair damaged infrastructure within one week.
“You have one week to do it. All of you. Padala kayo dito, kung may kulang. If there is anything to be fixed, do it. Come back here,” Duterte told the Cabinet members present in the meeting.
The President said if they fail to accomplish the task, they should hire competent people for the job.
“Kung hindi kayo (If not you), then send a competent, huwag yung imbecile, engineer in your office,” Duterte said, as he noted the need for assistance, particularly in providing food, water, and shelter.
“What I have really experienced, all these years being mayor of Davao City for almost 23 years, hindi tayo, mga dumaan sa local, medyo sanay tayo. Hindi tayo dehado. Basta ganun, pagkain, shelter, and tubig. ‘Yan ang important talaga ‘yan, ang tubig (We are a bit used to it. We are not at the losing end. It’s like that, food, shelter, water. The most important is water),” he added.
Duterte, accompanied by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, conducted an aerial inspection of areas hit by the storm.
Floods hit different parts of Surigao del Sur on Sunday due to heavy rains brought by Auring.
In Tuesday’s remarks, the President claimed that the storm damage was “not so bad at all” following his aerial inspection.
He likewise lauded the concerned government workforce for their disaster response efforts, from preemptive evacuation to providing food, water and temporary shelter to affected residents.
As of Tuesday, the storm has left one fatality and two missing in the Caraga region and affected almost 32,000 families, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Agricultural damage losses incurred are estimated at P21.56 million, the Department of Agriculture said.
Packing maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour and 80 kph gusts, Auring was the first storm to hit the Philippines this year. It has since weakened into a low pressure area, which the state weather bureau said fizzled out early Monday.
The Philippines sees around 20 typhoons annually.