Vice President Leni Robredo seemed to have taken advantage of a disaster for political gains when she commented that the government's relief operations in the wake of Typhoon Nina were "slow."
"The remark Ms. Robredo made saying that the relief operations were slow suggests a cynical political mindset willing to capitalize on disaster," presidential spokesman Secretary Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
"One wished she displayed more appreciation of the work of our disaster officials, our social workers, and other volunteers who were on Ground Zero even before Nina made a landfall," she added.
Robredo had said that the assistance distribution seemed sluggish, adding that some areas have received only relief from her office, which has sent help to at least 10,000 families in 145 barangays in the province.
"Sa tingin ko medyo mabagal, mabagal iyong galaw," Robredo said on Tuesday.
"Ngayon magbababad tayo dito, iyong mga nakausap ko naman ang nakarating pa lang sa kanilang tulong galing sa amin. Hindi din sapat kasi mas gusto natin na mas long-term sana ang solusyon na maibibigay," she added.
Abella noted that as of January 4, a total of P182,473,574 worth of relief assistance were given to affected families in the regions of CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, and VIII, including those who were stranded in various ports in Regions V and VIII.
"The DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] provided assistance worth P166,976,473 while LGUs [local government units] and non-government organizations (NGOs) provided a total of P4,225,832 and P11,271,270, respectively," he said.
Abella added that the Department of Energy (DOE) with support from local government units and private institutions has brought back electricity to priority areas in Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions before New Year.
For transmission facilities in the on-grid area, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that as of December 31, 2016 the Naga-Daraga 230 kV line and the Naga-Pili-Iriga line have been restored servicing the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur, after 500 technical personnel were deployed.
"Full restoration of NGCP transmission services in typhoon Nina-affected areas is expected today," Abella added. —NB, GMA News