Duterte meets Cabinet in Cagayan to discuss Ompong response


Posted at Sep 16 2018 02:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2018 03:15 PM

A man surveys damage wrought by Typhoon Ompong in Tuguegarao City. Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte convened his Cabinet in Tuguegarao City on Sunday to discuss the government's response to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).

The strongest storm so far this year whipped Northern and Central Luzon on Saturday, triggering landslides and floods that killed 25 people, according to official reports.

Duterte inspected damage over Tuguegarao by air before the meeting, according to photos released by his Special Assistant, Christopher "Bong" Go.

"I share the grief of those who have lost their loved ones," Duterte said.

Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino said the search and rehabilitation phase of the response would finish Sunday, afterwards, it would shift to restoration.

The declaration of a state of calamity in some areas will activate a price freeze on basic commodities, Tolentino said.

Duterte deployed his Cabinet secretaries to North Luzon areas before Ompong hit land.

The storm damaged the Civil Aviation Authority office, baggage carousel and x-ray machine in Cagayan airport, with infrastructure damage estimated up to P40 million, said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Commercial flights in Cagayan could resume as early as Tuesday. Other airports in Luzon are operational, he said.