As various government agencies continue to provide assistance to Filipinos affected by super typhoon ‘’Rolly,’’ Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has suggested the creation of a task force dedicated to address the concerns brought about by the super typhoon towards immediate recovery and rehabilitation. 

BONG GO2 1024x777 - Go bats for creation of Task Force Rolly to address recovery, rehab of devastated areas
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go
(OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

After distributing aid to affected residents of the municipalities of Bato and Virac in Catanduanes yesterday, Go said he had discussed with National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalada, Jr. the creation of ‘’Task Force Rolly.’’

“Isa-suggest ko kay Pangulong Duterte, and I have discussed this with General Manager Escalada of the NHA, na tulad po ng ginawa nila sa Yolanda na magkaroon ng task force for rehabilitation, gumawa rin tayo ng Task Force Rolly kasi di naman po Catanduanes lang ang tinamaan dito,’’ he said.  (I will suggest to President Duterte, and I have discussed this with General Manager Escalada of the NHA, similar to what they have done for Yolanda, a task force for rehabilitation was created. We will also create the ‘’Task Force Rolly’’ since it is not only Catanduanes that was hit [by the typhoon].

“Importante po dito well-coordinated naman lahat ng agencies ng gobyerno para po ma-restore (to) normalcy po, not only Catanduanes, kasama na rin iba pang probinsyang tinamaan ng bagyo,’’ he added. (What is important here is that all agencies of government are well-coordinated in order to restore normalcy, not only in Catanduanes, but in other provinces that were also hit by the typhoon.)

On November 1, 2020, super typhoon ‘’Rolly’’ made landfall and brought torrential rains, violent winds, mudslides, and storm surges to the Philippines’ largest island of Luzon.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council  (NDRRMC) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the super typhoon left extensive damage and affected 1.9 million Filipinos. An estimated 845,000 people are in need of assistance.

The senator from Davao also renewed his appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte for additional calamity funds to help local government units in their recovery efforts.

“Kadalasan po sa LGUs, ubos po ang kanilang pera kaya po nag-suggest ako na mabigyan sila ng konting replenishment of their calamity fund. Malaking tulong na po yan para sa rehabilitation at sa mga tao,’’ Go said. (Most of the LGUs have already depleted their funds and this is the reason why I am suggesting that they be given replenishment of their calamity fund. That would be a big help for rehabilitation and for the people.)

Go had earlier appealed to the national government to provide additional financial assistance to the typhoon-hit LGUs.

He added that he already had a talk with Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado concerning the recommendation.

“Bago kami pumunta dito, nagkausap na kami ni Sec. Avisado. Hihingi lang kami ng approval kay Presidente, ‘yun pong aking recommendation na maglaan ng one percent  po para sa budget,’’ he said. (Before I came here, I have talked to Sec. Avisado. We will get the approval of President Duterte, that is my recommendation to allocate one percent for the budget.)

“Kasi ang five percent po na calamity funds ngayon ay ubos na po. Nagamit na po (laban sa COVID-19) (The five percent of the calamity funds were already consumed. They have used it (against COVID-19) because we’re under the state of national emergency right now,” he added.

Go said his office, as well as concerned government agencies, have provided immediate relief assistance to typhoon victims.

“Tuloy tuloy po ang aking opisina, opisina ni Pangulo, at iba’t ibang agencies na umikot sa Kabikulan. Kung sino ang tinamaan ng bagyo, iikutin po namin para magbigay tulong sa abot ng aming makakaya,’’ he said.  (My office, the office of the President and the different agencies of the government will continue to go around Bicol. We will provide assistance to all those affected by the typhoon.)

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