In an effort to rebuild the lives of the survivors of the three earthquakes that jolted some parts of Mindanao including the Province of Cotabato, three Cabinet Secretaries inspected the affected areas to help oversee the government’s relief efforts, logistics, and medical support.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III arrived in Amas, Kidapawan City, Wednesday.
The three secretaries also attended the Joint Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) 12 and Cotabato Peace and Order Council Meeting conducted at the Provincial Capitol and listened to the concerns of different Local Government Units (LGUs) that were hardly hit and affected by a series of earthquakes last month.
Acting Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño Mendoza told Edge Davao that the DND, military, and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) managed the relief operations as well as secured the areas of the evacuees and the responders.
For logistics, a chopper was provided by for aerial surveying and airlifting. There were also trucks to complement the rescue operation and relief assistance distribution. They also provided manpower from the army to assist and secure the areas.
Mendoza said an engineering group also led the construction of comfort rooms and setting up of the community kitchen.
“The secretaries also regulated the flow of the relief goods and donations to follow disaster protocol for accounting and transparency. They also managed the resources for sustainability and enforcement of the peace and order,” she said.
Meanwhile, the DOH administered the sanitation and hygiene of the evacuees. This complement the services of the Regional health Units (RHU) and the Integrated Provincial health office personnel. The DOH also provided medicines and medical support as well as conducted stress debriefing and trauma to the victims.
Mendoza said DOH also ensured that no outbreak will occur in the evacuation centers.
The DILG helped in identifying the relocation sites and reconstruction of shelters with all the assistance coming from other countries, donors, and DILG funds.
Mendoza added that the said agency also helped the LGUs, Department of Education Region 12, and DOH 12 in retrofitting of the government facilities that were damaged by the three earthquakes.
The peace and order was also enforced by the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Bureau of Fire also provided water using their fire trucks.
Mendoza said the monitoring, support and coordination is now being led by the national government.
“All the three secretaries and the three division commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assured Cotabato for help and support. Salamat President Duterte for all the support and assistance extended to Cotabato.
No less than five department secretaries came in different schedules namely TESDA, DSWD, DND, DILG, DOH, AFP and PNP. Makaya namo ang kalamidad kay naa ang national government, local governments and individuals and private organizations as well as local and international NGOs and other sectors. Bayanihan and malasakit keep us one and together we help rebuild our heavily affected LGUs,” Mendoza said.
The three secretaries gave their assurance that the national government will help the affected communities cope with the calamity.
Año also lauded Mendoza and the different line agencies involved in crises management and disaster response for managing the situation very well.