MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday afternoon arrived in Cagayan, as floodwaters slowly recede after Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco) inundated large swaths of Luzon and left at least 67 dead.
Rainfall from nearby provinces and water release from Magat Dam caused "unprecedented" floods and killed at least 9 in Cagayan, Governor Manuel Mamba earlier said.
Duterte landed at Tuguegarao Airport past 12 noon and conducted aerial inspection over affected areas and would be given a briefing on typhoon response.
Duterte said Saturday he has ordered the creation of a new inter-agency task force to streamline the government’s response and rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses.
He said government has been working tirelessly as a series of typhoons hit Metro Manila and parts of Luzon in the past few weeks, following criticism he has not sufficiently addressed the country.
"Itong task force ng different agencies. Lahat itong halos ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno kasali dito… binibigyan ko sila ng timeline para gumawa ng mga hakbang na 'yan na walang delay at i-cut yung red tape para mabilis ang takbo ng tulong sa tao,” he said in a speech Saturday.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Mocha Uson also arrived in Cagayan Sunday.
Vice President Leni Robredo also visited Cagayan on Sunday morning, hours ahead of Duterte.
Ulysses, the 21st tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, pummeled Luzon Wednesday night until Thursday, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake just as the island reeled from earlier storms, including Super Typhoon Rolly.