Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday said that she or her team will reach all the areas affected by Typhoon Odette and that her office will provide them with relief goods and services.
Robredo made the pledge in a Facebook live video shot inside her volunteers' center in Quezon City which has been converted as relief operation center for Odette victims, less than a day after she and her team paid a visit and provided relief to the typhoon-hit provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Surigao, Siargao, Southern Leyte and Dinagat Islands.
In the video, she described in detail the devastation she and her team saw on the ground, and talked about the people she met who needed help.
"Tomorrow, our relief operations will resume. Ang assurance ko po sa inyo, mapupuntahan lahat ng lugar na nasalanta. Kung hindi po ako mismo dahil solong katawan po ako, iyong teams po namin...lahat ng lugar, maaabot po ng teams namin on the ground kasi halos anim na taon na namin itong ginagawa," Robredo said.
(My assurance to you is that we will reach all the places that have been hit. If I cannot go there myself, our teams on the ground will be able to reach you because this is something we have been doing for almost six years.)
"Ang teams namin, sanay na sanay sa disaster relief operations and rehabilitation. Ang assurance po namin sa inyo, kasama niyo kami, every step of the way," she added.
(Our teams are tried and tested in this. I assure you, we will be there for you, every step of the way.)
Robredo then said that people who lost homes and property due to Odette also feel better when public officials pay them a visit, even if the relief goods and other rehabilitation assistance could take time to reach them due to logistical problems given the infrastructure buildings, roads and telecommunications destroyed by Odette.
"Kapag pumunta ka [sa lugar nila], natutuwa sila. Humingi nga ako ng pasensiya kasi hindi dumating agad iyong kanilang mga kailangan, pero sa lahat ng lugar na pinuntahan ko, ang lagi po nilang sagot, di bale na po, basta nandito ka, kampante kami na hindi kami pababayaan," Robredo added.
(When you show up, it makes them happy. We asked for their patience because the supplies didn't arrive right away, but in every place they would say as long as you're here, we are reassured that you won't ignore us.)
Robredo said the relief operations are made possible by their generous donors, including those in the private sector, and the volunteers, and that the most urgent needs are clean drinking water, ready to eat food, tarpaulin for temporary shelter and gasoline supply for easier transportation of relief goods.
"It is really drinking water, and they are hoping for mobile refilling stations. We already reached out to Manila Water and they are sending tomorrow on board C130. This will be for Cebu, and we hope this also reaches Surigao and Bohol. They are also asking for tarpaulins for their shelter, especially that Christmas is coming," she said.
"For food, the lack of water is making it difficult for them to cook. They are saying, yes, we have rice but we cannot cook it since there is no water. The supply of canned goods which have been the lifeline for the past three days is also getting depleted. Let us not allow our fellow Filipinos to go hungry this Christmas," she added.
"Huwag nating hayaan na may magpapasko na walang makakain, walang matutulugan, walang pag-asa. Iparamdam natin sa kanila na nasa puso natin sila na ngayong may pinagdadaanan silang kahirapan," Robredo said.
(Let us not allow our fellow Filipinos to be left hungry, homeless and hopeless this Christmas season. Let us make them feel they are in our hearts when they are going through difficult circumstances.) — BM, GMA News