Duterte vows to allot P2 billion to rehab damaged infra in Surigao

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds an emergency meeting with members of the Cabinet at the Surigao City Hall grounds upon his arrival in Surigao City. Malacañang photo

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Feb) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in his visit here to survey the damage wrought by the magnitude 6.7 earthquake late Friday evening, promised to allot Php2 billion to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure.

“Maghatag ko’g gamay nga pundo. Siguro igo ra ning 2 billion pesos,” (I will provide a little amount. Maybe P2 billion is enough.) he said.

Some bridges and roads in the city and neighboring areas were damaged by the quake. The airport’s runway was damaged, too, causing airlines to divert flights to neighboring Butuan City. Many buildings downtown sustained damage, too.

The city plunged into darkness right after the 10:03 p.m. earthquake, but electricity was restored by 6 p.m. Saturday. Water supply, however, has not been restored as of press time.

The President, after touring the area on a helicopter, said he was happy that the damage was not as much as what happened to Tacloban during Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Duterte, who came with eight of his cabinet members, consoled the family of those who perished in the earthquake. He gave cash assistance to the families of the six victims.

He arrived here at 12:42 p.m. and went to the Surigao City Hall to meet with local government officials.

With the President were Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Martin Andanar, Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)