Duterte vows to help Cebu build new infrastructures amid traffic woes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020   •   901

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to help Cebu City build new infrastructures amid the severe traffic problem experienced in the city.

During his speech on Sunday (January 19), Duterte said that Cebu should focus on building a mass transportation system such as railway system.

“If you could make it a mass transportation, that would be better. Only few will be able to do that. But it’s either train or skyways. Let’s opt for elevated highways,” he said.

“The only way to do it is by utilizing a small commuter train and more highways. I will help you secure a loan for that,” he added.

The chief executive also said said he wants similar projects be constructed in Cebu. He reiterated that he does not want any project left unfinished —AAC

Duterte tells DPWH to relocate residents in no-build zones

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to coordinate with local government units (LGU) and other agencies in relocating informal settlers in Cebu displaced by Typhoon Odette.

In a pre-recorded meeting with government officials, Duterte said the DPWH should work with LGUs for possible resettlement of families who will be relocated from “no-build zones” or areas deemed dangerous to reside in.

“Alam mo you need to talk to the mayors — well, pati governors, but more importantly is how the mayor would govern his city or municipality kasi sila lang ang makaturo kung saan lilipat ‘tong mga ‘to,” Duterte said.

“Ang akin kasi, I do not want to dismantle or to destroy houses unless there is a relocation site. Malaki nga ang problema mo diyan sa totoo lang. When you begin to bulldoze those houses there, you have a problem in your hands and that is a social problem actually,” he added.

The president issued the directive as the DPWH reported about roads damaged by storm surge caused by Typhoon Odette, particularly the Santander-Barili-Toledo Road in Cebu.

DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado reported some portion of the pavement and even houses were destroyed after the typhoon hit Cebu, stressing the road must be constructed with permanent improvements.

Mercado said the DPWH will try its best to negotiate with the residents and convince them to relocate because of the dangers posed by staying near the coastline.

At the same time, the DPWH head said he issued a department order strictly implementing the road right-of-way provision of the law, as well as the no-build zone policy.

In a no-build zone, no structure should be built within the 40 meters from the centerline going towards the shore, he explained. In this case, the residents have violated the guideline because their houses are within the 40-meter no-build zone.

The DPWH said it will need P50 million to fund the permanent improvement, adding a seawall and drainage system have to be built to protect the structure from another storm surge.

“I am calling the planning and the finance and tomorrow we will — will continue to scour for money and hopefully we can report to you that — so that you will be happy, Mr. President. We will be resourceful,” Mercado said.

The DPWH chief said they have requested for augmentation fund from their savings but because of the damage, their request must be amended to fund the construction of the Santander-Barili Road section.

The project could be completed within three to four months with massive infusion of equipment and non-stop work of government contractors, he added.


Duterte sets to work even during holiday break to focus on recovery, rehab efforts

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will be going around areas severely affected by Typhoon Odette during the holiday break to focus on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts and closely monitor the distribution of relief goods to calamity victims.

Duterte made the announcement during his visit to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan which was also ravaged by the typhoon.

“So titingnan namin, hanggang pasko magtatrabaho ako. Hindi ako mag-new year. Talagang lalabas ako. Sabi ko mag-overtime kami gobyerno, hindi magsara maski na pasko,” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko magsakripisyo na muna tayo tutal marami nang pasko sa buhay natin, sobra-sobra na. Itong pasko na ito ibigay natin sa tao,” he added.

Aside from Palawan, the President also visited Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Negros Occidental, Leyte, and Bohol.

The Chief Executive also apologized for the delay in the government’s response.

“Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap din kami dito sa taas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo. Pati yung pera. Alam mo kasi maraming nagsasalita. Yung calamity fund, up to sa mga mayors, kailangan may report ang damage ng isang lugar bago ma-release ang pera,” he explained.

Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, around 52,000 families were rendered homeless by the typhoon this holiday season. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte visits areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday (December 18) visited the areas severely battered by Typhoon Odette.

The President was accompanied by Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go and other government officials.

In a brief statement sent to reporters, Senator Go said that they first flew to Maasin in Southern Leyte. There, the President met with local government officials and heads of concerned national government agencies to assess the situation and damage brought by the typhoon.

They then proceeded to Surigao City in Surigao del Norte where he also met with local government units and with Dinagat Island officials.

The President and his team conducted an aerial survey in the typhoon-stricken areas and saw the damage firsthand.

Go said that the president summoned the officials of the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Social Welfare and Development, Public Works and Highways, the National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Civil Defense.

Go reported that there were many people stranded in Siargao.

The senator also noted the vast damage in infrastructure, as well as trees toppled by the strong winds brought by the typhoon.

Go said electric power and telecommunications were cut in major areas in the said provinces.

According to the senator, the President plans to visit Bohol and Cebu provinces on Sunday (December 19).

On Friday, the President expressed concern over the state of the people in the said typhoon-stricken areas.

“I’m not so much worried about damage to structures, infrastructures of government. Ang takot ko is maraming namatay,” the President said. —/mbmf


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