MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday announced he will allot P40 million for the victims of the twin earthquakes that hit Batanes.
Speaking to local authorities in a briefing in Basco, Batanes, Duterte said he will be providing the money needed for the reconstruction of a local hospital damaged in the earthquakes.
"I'll give you the P40 million. I hope you put it to good use," Duterte said, instructing local officials to use it to construct a clinic as soon as possible until the new hospital is being constructed.
Duterte also said will ask the Philippine Coast Guard to patrol Batanes islands.
"Just to assure that those islands will remain ours, kasi mahirap na ngayon," he said.
On Saturday, two earthquakes in the magnitude 5 range hit the northern islands. The first one registered at 5.4 struck at 4:16 a.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers northeast of Itbayat town.
Three hours later, a second one which registered at magnitude-5.9 struck at about 19 kilometers off Itbayat.
At least 5 villages in Itbayat island were the hardest hit, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Many affected residents have sought shelter at public markets.