PGMA issues 7 directives in Fresno
PGMA issues 7 directives in Fresno

OPS U.S. Visit 2008

CITY OF FRESNO, CALIFORNIA -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this morning issued seven directives after she convened the second National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) meeting in less than 24 hours.

''Let me give you a summary of what should be done -- should be followed as a result of that meeting,'' the President said during the program with some 600 Filipino-Americans from Fresno and the neighboring areas in Central Valley here.

The directives were: (1) Congress to certify a bill that would consider rice hoarding and profiteering as economic sabotage with disaster as aggravating circumstance; (2) state of calamity should include imposing maximum rice price and giving decent return for farmers/traders, plus wholesale of hoarded rice;

(3) announce government aid for ferry disaster victims or families; (4) pending review of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) protocols so that no vessel sails if it would pass possible typhoon path; (5) assign an NDCC official at Sulpicio Lines to get and release information on victims;

(6) embassies in the US, Europe and Middle East should open disaster relief donation accounts plus NDCC account website or text number; (7) National Telecommunications Co. (NTC) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) should help ensure NDCC site to be able to work amid high traffic.

The President was given an update on the consolidated damage wrought by typhoon Frank, as well as assistance, relief and rescue operations being implemented.

Although typhoon Frank would be totally out of the Philippines area of responsibility by Tuesday morning, according to PAGASA, NDCC Chair Gen. Glen Rabonza said consolidated damage report is yet to be completed. He stressed, however, that relief and rescue operations are on-going especially for the victims of the MV Princess that sank off Romblon at the height of typhoon Frank last Saturday.

The Board of Maritime Inquiry (BMI) will conduct a thorough probe on the MV Princess sinking and the reported 200,000 liters of oil in the sunken ship that may cause an oil spill.

In the meantime, Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza said all Sulpicio Lines vessels are grounded to check on their seaworthiness.

The President welcomed the news from the PCG that the sunken vessel was already located off Calunay, Quezon, and that 28 survivors were found.

''Praise God!'' the President said.

The President immediately left for Washington DC after she joined the Filipino community here in hearing Sunday mass.

(Bookmark this page for future reference)

CABATUAN AIRPORT - Timeline 2008