It’s LGUs’ call, but Nat’l Gov’t ready to help

‘We are in constant contact with the local governments so we can see what the situation is in their place.’

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANALY LABOR FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_ana | Water babies Sometimes, rains bring something more than floods — the chance for kids to enjoy a simple splash in the rain, and this is exactly what happened on a street along NIA road in Quezon City on Thursday, 25 May.

Although saying that the national government leaves it to the local government units to make the call amid the threats of super typhoon “Betty” (international name: “Mawar”), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the national government is prepared to help local government units in weathering its impact.

“We have already warned the LGUs to prepare in case of heavy rains and flooding. What we do is we leave it to the LGUs right now to make the call but the national government is here to assist,” Marcos Jr. told the media after the 125th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy in Manila yesterday.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s latest bulletin showed that “Mawar” has slightly intensified and may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility Friday night or Saturday morning.

“We are in constant contact with the local governments so we can see what the situation is in their place so we will be able to respond properly,” he said.

Marcos said he has already discussed typhoon preparations with Defense officer-in-charge Undersecretary Carlito Galvez.

“Well, we have been preparing for most of this week already. We have positioned relief goods in areas on the typhoon’s path, which is mostly in Northern Luzon,” he added.

Marcos Jr. said that although is only forecast to pass north of the Philippines, apparently there is a chance that there will be heavy rains, not just in Southern Luzon, Visayas and maybe Mindanao, too.

Assessing needs

He added that the national government will assess the needs of local government units after the typhoon hits so that it can provide the appropriate assistance.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has also released a statement saying that the whole government is ready for the possible impact of “Mawar.”

PAGASA said super typhoon Mawar could bring heavy rains to Northern Luzon starting Sunday or Monday. The typhoon is also expected to bring strong storm-force winds to Extreme Northern Luzon, and strong to gale-force winds to the northern and eastern portions of Northern Luzon mainland.

Super typhoon “Mawar” is expected to strengthen the southwest monsoon, which could bring heavy rains to the western parts of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas starting Sunday or Monday.

Shelter cluster

As this developed, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development on Wednesday activated its local shelter cluster teams in areas with expected heavy rains due to super typhoon Mawar.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar issued the directive as a proactive measure to ensure the readiness of the concerned Regional Offices (ROs) for any eventuality.

In a memorandum order, Undersecretary for Regional Operations Lyle Pasco cited Regions 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and BARMM as priority areas, and ordered regional directors to immediately convene their respective shelter clusters to monitor related developments within their areas of responsibility.

The regional shelter clusters were also tasked to facilitate emergency response and humanitarian assistance for possible untoward effects of the said typhoon.

During calamities, DHSUD local shelter teams are closely working with the Office of Civil Defense, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and other concerned government agencies to harmonize efforts in assisting affected families.

The National Telecommunications Commission has directed all telecommunications providers to provide non-stop technical and support personnel to assist areas that will be affected by super typhoon “Mawar.”

Pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 05-04-2011, NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez required telcos to also provide standby generators with extra fuel, tools, and spare equipment in case of emergencies.

“You are directed to fast-track the repair and restoration of telecommunication services in the service areas that will be severely affected by the typhoon,” Lopez said in the order.

“Further, you are also directed to deploy Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging Stations in strategic areas that will be affected by the typhoon. You are also reminded to coordinate with the LGUs and observe strict health protocols to avoid transmission of coronavirus disease,” she added.

The NTC said telcos need to submit status updates every six hours of ongoing restoration activities being performed on their respective network and facilities.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday said it has alerted all its search, rescue and retrieval units for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in areas expected to be affected once super typhoon “Mawar” enters the country.

AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said more than 12,000 military personnel and reservists are now alerted as first responders in anticipation of the super typhoon.

The AFP is also set to deploy more than 2,800 land transportation, air and water assets for its HADR operations.

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