President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to put up "food supply depots" in calamity-prone areas, an official said.
"The President gave the order after hearing yet another concern from the local executives of Biliran Province on the lack of food supply following the devastation caused by Typhoon Urduja on the island," said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who accompanied Duterte in his visit to calamity-stricken Biliran.
Piñol said there relief hubs must be put up in Biliran as food supply for devastated families in the island still have to be ferried from Cebu.
Biliran was hardest hit by tropical depression "Urduja," which left at least 33 dead in the province.
Authorities are scrambling to repair bridges and roads destroyed by Urduja to speed up the distribution of relief aid to residents, Sofronio Dacillo, a provincial disaster officer, said in an interview on DZMM.
"Nahihirapan na kami sa supply ng pagkain kasi iyung canned goods namin, noodles, galing pang labas ng Biliran. Iyung transpo, medyo may kahirapan," he said.
(We are having difficulty with our food supply because our canned goods and noodles come from outside Biliran. Its transportation is somewhat a challenge.)
Urduja affected 8,700 families in Biliran, one of 6 areas where the slow-moving typhoon hit land, about a week before Christmas, Dacillo said.
Urduja has left the Philippine area of responsibility but a brewing storm off Mindanao threatens to dampen the country's Christmas celebration, state weather bureau PAGASA warned.