MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday afternoon visited landslide victims in Naga City, Cebu, as search operations for those buried under the rubble continued.
Duterte checked on the conditions of the landslide victims at the Enan Chiong Activity Center, which serves as an evacuation center for least 1,500 residents of Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan who fled their homes in the wake of the incident.
The President said he was saddened by the loss of lives due to the landslide.
“Ako, nasubo tungod sa nahitabo. Dili malalim ang pagka krisis nga inyong giatubang karon. Bug-at kaayo. Dili lang tungod sa daghang tao nga napinsala ug katong nangamatay,” Duterte said.
(I was saddened by what happened. What you are going through is not simple. It’s really painful because many people died.)
At least 32 people have been confirmed dead and 47 still missing, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said, after a massive landslide buried homes in Barangay Naalad and Sitio Sindulan Thursday morning.
The DSWD and the Office of the President will give P45,000 to each of the families of those who died from the landslide. Those injured were given P10,000 each.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said Duterte also directed concerned agencies to ensure that the medical needs of the victims are attended to, and funeral and burial assistance to all the victims are provided. Duterte also committed to fund the construction of evacuation centers which will serve as a temporary shelter during disasters.
Duterte also directed National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. to work on providing housing for the landslide victims.
Cebu was not directly hit by Typhoon Ompong, the world's strongest typhoon so far this year, but has been pounded by heavy monsoon rain for days, making the slopes dangerously loose.
The Cebu landslide came as searchers in the Philippines' north continued to work to recover corpses of a suspected dozens of people buried in a landslide unleashed Saturday by Ompong.
Most of the 88 people killed by Ompong died in landslides in the mountainous gold-mining Cordillera region that includes Itogon, Benguet.
Ompong also dumped torrential rains on the key agricultural areas of the Philippines' main northern island of Luzon, causing crop losses that would likely total more than $250 million. - with Agence France-Presse