MANILA - Government coordinated rescue for Cagayan residents early Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed Sunday.
Critics had earlier slammed the government for allegedly not sufficiently addressing the nation as successive calamities hit the country, but President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said the government has been working "tirelessly."
"Immediately after nung lumabas nga yung balita na may baha, as early as 4 in the morning eh nagko-coordinate na kami dun sa actions taken," he said in a press briefing in Cagayan.
(Immediately after news erupted that there was flooding, we were coordinating on the actions taken as early as 4 in the morning.)
"Among the actions taken, meron po talaga naka-pre-position na rito na air assets tsaka rubber boats. As early as 4 a.m. it was reported to us by NDRRMC [National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council] na nag-deploy pa ng additional air assets and additional rubber boats."
(Air assets and rubber boats were already pre-positioned. As early as 4 a.m. it was reported to us by NDRRMC that additional air assets and rubber boats were deployed.)
Vice President Leni Robredo, who arrived in the province hours ahead of Duterte and his Cabinet, was among the first who coordinated assistance for stranded residents late Friday until early Saturday.
Meantime, those who would like to visit Cagayan to extend assistance are not required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine, its governor Manuel Mamba said.
"Wala na ho ang quarantine pero we do our testing, the antigen test or the PCR test if that’s possible also. Merong fake news kasi na lumalabas na ika-quarantine lahat ng papasok dito pati media. That never happened po. Lalong lalo na ngayon, as you can see ang dami nating media personalities dito," he said.
(There's no quarantine anymore but we do our testing, antigen or PCR if that's possible. There's fake news going around that everyone who enters needs to undergo quarantine, including media. That never happened. As you can see we have many media personalities here.)
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana urged donors to course their assistance through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
"In that manner, di mao-overwhelm ang facilities ng probinsiya (the province's facilities won't be overwhelmed)," he said.