PGMA gives last minute instructions as she leaves for U.S.

PIA 6/21/2008 - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, accompanied by LtGen Pedrito Cadungog, Philippine Air Force (right) and Press Secretary Jessus Dureza (left) during an inspection of the Preparedness Disaster Team for typhoon Frank at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. (Marcelino Pascua/NIB/OPS)

PGMA gives last minute instructions as she leaves for U.S.

OPS 21 JUNE 2008

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left last night for the United States for her 10-day visit to California, Washington and New York. The 10-day working visit will be highlighted by her one-on-one meeting with President George W. Bush.

But before she left at 10:30 last night on board a Philippine Airline plane the President called a meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council at noon wherein she issued the following instructions:

• Put the whole Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government into a relief-and-rescue standby mode.

• Ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways into a repair-and-rehabilitation footing so work on damaged infrastructure can begin once the weather clears up.

• The Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development shall forward-deploy resources to areas on typhoon path. By law, Calamity Funds have been advanced to DND, DPWH and DSWD, which means that the tools to provide care and comfort have been prepositioned in our first responders.

• The Air Force, including the Presidential Airlift Wing, are under orders to fly mercy missions, when the need arises.

President Arroyo also ordered Agriculture Sec. Arthur Yap to ensure stable rice supply in affected areas. “If Frank will bring flood, Art will respond by flooding these areas with rice. If they will exploit the situation, hoarders will soon find themselves in hot water, a certainty Sec. Raul Gonzales will guarantee,” the President said.

The President has also instructed the Pink Brigade of the Metro Manila Development Authority “to rush to areas that might be damaged by the storm. Army engineers, with their heavy equipment, will roll out and join the bayanis of Bayani Fernando in their mercy caravan.”

After the NDCC meeting, the President dropped by Villamor Air Base and inspected the aircraft and the airmen on standby. “We designated VAB as operations center, a springboard for help,” she said.

“With or without the typhoon, but the latter would make it urgent, the distribution of power subsidies will commence in areas the typhoon will hit, in a manner that will not overburden government officials attending to relief work,” the President said. (Bookmark this page for future reference)

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