MANILA (UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte plans to visit areas hit by Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) as soon as these places become accessible, his top aide said Saturday.
According to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Duterte eyes visiting the typhoon-stricken areas that can be reached first.
"Plan po as soon as clear na pwede pumunta," Go said in a message.
(The plan is to visit as soon as the areas become accessible.)
In a separate message, he added that he would assess the situation first in Tuguegarao and Laoag Sunday noon.
"Yes mauna [me] Tuguegarao then sa Laoag. Noontime. Check situation and damages," he said.
(I will first go to Tuguegarao then Laoag. Noontime. Check situation and damage.)
Duterte on Thursday held a command conference with the government’s top disaster preparedness and management agencies ahead of Ompong's landfall.
The President also sent some of his Cabinet members such as Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to different parts of northern Luzon that are on the typhoon's path.
The strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, Ompong made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan around 1:40 a.m. Saturday and smashed through northern Luzon, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
More than P1.7 billion in food packs and relief assistance were readied for distribution by the government to those who will be affected by the onslaught of the typhoon.