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Rescue efforts, P128M fund underway for ‘Maring’ victims



Rescuers evacuate residents from their homes near a swollen river due to heavy rains brought about by tropical storm “Maring” in Gonzaga town, Cagayan. (Gonzaga Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)

The government has rolled out its rescue efforts to aid thousands of individuals in northern Luzon who were affected by tropical storm “Maring,” Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque assured the typhoon-hit residents that the government is acting on all rescue and assistance requests.

“Rescue personnel and teams from the local government units are on the scene as we assure all requests for rescue and assistance are being acted upon by all relevant agencies,” he said through a statement.

“Support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection are likewise mobilized and deployed,” the Palace official added.

Roque also noted that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has prepared P128 million in standby funds and some 373,700 family food packs worth P219 million to support displaced families amid the typhoon.

Some 478 families or 1,638 individuals were affected by Maring, based on the latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The government, meanwhile, began its efforts to clear the roads hit by the typhoon and to restore power and communication lines in affected areas.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said through a separate advisory that he had directed public utilities on energy and other industry players to hasten their efforts to bring back electricity in typhoon-hit provinces.

“The Department of Energy and the rest of the Energy family remain on top of the situation, especially in providing the immediate energy needs in the affected areas,” Cusi said.

Government officials asked the public to observe precautionary measures before Maring leaves the Philippine territory Wednesday evening.

“We ask the public to continue to take precautionary measures, observe minimum public health standards, and cooperate with their respective local authorities in case of an evacuation,” Malacañang said.