MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said the Philippine Navy and other military branches will help with the shipwrecks caused by Typhoon Odette in Cebu province.
During an event where Duterte talked to Odette survivors in Cebu, a Mandaue City official said ships from the neighboring Consolacion town went ashore in his city, hitting mangroves, while other vessels sank.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan also said 42 vessels ran aground in his city, and 2 ships full of fuel also sank in the vicinity.
"We are worried in Lapu-Lapu, because we rely on tourism and our sea is our asset. If that oil comes out, the livelihood of the people is dead. Their pump boats are even destroyed already," he said.
Duterte said he has called on senior military officials, particularly from the Navy, and the police to respond to the situation. He also said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will deal with the possible oil leak.
"They are here, and I told them about it. Your need for sea craft, we are passing that to the coast guard, for distribution in areas hard to reach by land. The oil spill problem is for the DENR," he said.
"If there’s no other solution, bring it to the attention of the military. They will raise it to me directly, and I can take action on those," the President added.
Odette left at least 258 dead, 47 missing, and 568 injured, according to government tally as of Thursday.
More than 600,000 people were displaced.
Damage to infrastructure and properties was estimated at P2.5 billion, while crop losses was pegged at P1.15 billion.
Duterte has placed six regions under a state of calamity: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central VIsayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.