Just hours after typhoon “Ulysses” (international name: Vamco) battered Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday visited families who were displaced from their homes.
Robredo, in a series of Facebook Live posts, shared her visit in the communities affected by “Ulysses” in Marikina and Rizal. Aside from wanting to personally see the situation of the affected families, she and her team under the Office of the Vice President (OVP) also brought hot meals through the help of donors and partners.
“Madami pa yung daan na hindi passable dahil makapal pa yung mud, pawala pa lang yung tubig (There are still many roads that are not passable because of the mud, the flood water is still subsiding), Robredo said as she provides a recap of her visit.
Robredo first visited the evacuated families in Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal. “We have a partner community there and we brought hot meals because many of them have yet to eat,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Robredo said many residents are still in shock because of what happened. “Mahirap yung kalagayan ng lahat, talagang wala silang naisalba at ang claim nila, di nila inex-expect yung nangyari at di talaga sila nakapaghanda. (It’s hard for everyone, many of them did not save anything and they claimed that they did not expect what happened so they were not able to prepare),” she added.
Robredo then went to Marikina to assess the situation and bring some relief assistance. On her way to Barangay Tumana, she shared that many roads are not yet possible since the water has yet to subside completely while other streets are still covered in mud.
“We arrived in Marikina around 9:00 pm and I saw that many people were out in the streets – probably to find their way back to their houses and see if there are still some things that can be saved,” Robredo shared.
On her way to Marikina, Robredo also saw many uniformed men and other personnel who were assisting in the rescue operations. “We just want to thank the Coast Guard, the AFP, the police, the barangay captains, tanods and other rescuers who are risking their own lives to save others,” she said.
After the initial assessment from ground, Robredo urged everyone to once again participate in the ‘bayanihan’ spirit. “Marami tayong kababayan na nangangailangan ngayon ng tulong, hindi kailangan ipadaan sa opisina namin kahit saan ba grupo na may relief operations or dumiretso (Many of our countrymen need help, it does not have to go through our office, any group who conducts rescue operations will do or you may also go there straight),” she added.
Robredo said many families have lost almost everything – thus, they need basic necessities such as clothes, slippers, blankets, supplies for babies and younger children, and food, among others.
For now, Robredo said that hot meals are very ideal for the affected communities since many of them have yet to eat. “The hot meals are really a big help especially for those who are staying in evacuation centers because they have no means to cook their own food,” she ended.