MANILA, (PNA) — President Benigno Aquino III assured the national government is ready to assist those affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit some provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“We just like to assure the governor and other local government officials present… the national government is ready to assist and we have the necessary funds available,” the President in a press briefing Wednesday at the Mactan International Airport.
“I assure you that we will put you back and the target is as soon as possible,” he noted.
President Aquino also directed the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to ensure that geohazard maps are distributed to all local governments to be ready for natural disasters.
“All the mayors have their geohazard maps and you review and see if there are potential issues with the communities residing in areas that might have hazards,” he told a Phivolcs representative.
The President also directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to check the structural integrity of buildings, particularly hospitals and schools.
“First everything that was damaged, we check if the structure is sound as soon as possible, so to bring back everybody’s life to normalcy,” he said.
President Aquino also tasked the agency to review the “questionable” quality of workmanship of several infrastructures in some areas.
“There has be a review of the systems in place and dealing and coordinating with the local government units to not just look at the obvious areas na may damage but also when the plans come in on how to either replace or retrofit. Perhaps, the plans to those who include if we have doubts on the other portions of the structure that were seemingly not affected at this point in time,” he said.
The President issued the directives prior to leaving for a two-day state visit to South Korea on Thursday.
He visited Bohol and Cebu, two of the provinces in Central Visayas that were hardest hit by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake Tuesday morning, to assess the situation there.
Together with some national and local government officials, President Aquino distributed relief goods to evacuees at the Bohol Island State University.