By Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA, (PNA) — Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday assured residents of earthquake-ravaged Bohol of enough supply of rice and other basic commodities and called on them to avoid panic-buying and hoarding.
He further assured them that the government is exerting all efforts not just in relief operations but also in rebuilding lives, services and properties back to normalcy.
In his statement, Roxas said the National Food Authority has given assurances that there is a two-week rice inventory at the warehouse and enough supply of other basic food items.
“Tuloy tuloy lang po ang pasok ng supply dito. Huwag po tayong maniwala sa panic buying,” he said.
The DILG chief also called on commercial establishments to resume operations and avoid hoarding.
“Huwag po tayong mag-hoard dahil sapat naman ang supply ng mga pagkain, bigas, de lata, isda. Chi-neck din natin yung sa krudo, diesel, kerosese at gasolina. Marami din pong supply, maayos ang mga depot at hindi naapektuhan,” Roxas said.
The DILG Secretary had earlier directed the Philippine National Police to mobilize all its personnel in Region VII to extend assistance to all local government units affected by the major earthquake that hit Bohol and wrought havoc in Cebu and a few other provinces in the Visayas Tuesday.
Identified as the epicenter of the quake, Bohol was the worst-hit by the disaster that killed more than a hundred people and damaged houses and structures, including centuries-old churches.
Roxas also revealed that a team of structural engineers has already arrived in the province to assess the damage to public buildings.
“Yan yung priority – public buildings, hospitals, yung mga government offices, yung mga pinupuntahan ng mga tao, evacuation centers, paaralan para masiguro natin yung kaligtasan ng mga gusaling ito. Tuloy tuloy naman ang trabaho dun sa mga tulay, sa mga kalye at iba pang imprastraktura,” he said.
He revealed that three bridges in the province incurred extensive structural damage, making it doubly difficult to reach remote towns for relief operations.
Despite this, he said that government help will surely reach those who are needing assistance.
He hastened to add, however, that not one of Bohol’s 37 towns has been isolated.
Despite the disaster, Roxas has been assured by major airlines, including PAL and Cebu Pacific that there has been no cancellation of flights to the province.
“Tuloy tuloy pa rin po ang pagpasok ng mga turista sa kabila ng nangyari. In fact, inatasan na nang Pangulo ang Malacanang Communications Office na tumulong sa provincial Tourism Board Council para maparating sa lahat na tuloy tuloypa rin ang turismo dito at huwag magkansela ng bakasyon at okasyon na gaganapin dito sa Bohol,” he said.