Aquino vows to address needs of Central Luzon flood victims

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Friday, August 10, 2012


MANILA (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III visited on Friday the flooded communities in Central Luzon, including his home province of Tarlac, to personally oversee government relief operations and assess the extent of the damage caused by floods spawned by monsoon rains.

Aquino said he was visiting areas in Central Luzon affected by floods to make sure that government assistance is reaching flood victims. He also wanted to know what necessary infrastructure rehabilitation and improvement is needed to control and avoid flooding.

While on his way to his first stop in Paniqui, Tarlac, the President’s helicopter, along with four others, made an emergency landing on Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) due to heavy rains.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang, who was with the President, said Aquino’s convoy landed at the end of SCTEx in San Miguel, Tarlac City.

"En route to Paniqui, Tarlac shortly before 9 a.m., the President's aerial convoy encountered heavy rains, forcing the chopper to land at the end of SCTEx," Carandang said in a text message.

He said no one was hurt in the incident.

Aside from Carandang, the President was also accompanied by Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva, Aurora Representative Sonny Angara, former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros.

Despite the minor glitch, Aquino proceeded to Apulid evacuation center in Paniqui that houses 205 families or some 798 individuals.

After Paniqui, the President went to Capas where he also assured affected residents of continuing government assistance.

He committed to reconstruct damaged roads and bridges as soon as the weather improves to restore the livelihood of the people.

The Chief Executive reiterated that the government will find permanent solution to end the perennial problem of flooding in the country.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed foods packs containing rice, canned goods, noodles and coffee during the President’s visit in Tarlac.

From Tarlac, the President went to Dinalupihan in Bataan, where some areas are still flooded. He met with local officials and also led the distribution of relief packs.

He also dropped by in San Fernando, Pampanga where he also promised to continue to help more than 16,000 families affected by the flooding to get back on their feet.

The President said the National Government will continue to coordinate with local officials for the speedy distribution of relief goods and other assistance. He also noted that the government will act on a flood control system in Pampanga.

Twenty-two out of 35 barangays in San Fernando were affected by the flood.

Last on the list of the President’s itinerary was his visit to evacuations centers in Malolos and Paombong in the province of Bulacan.

The President said it is heartwarming to see the flood victims not losing hope and remain in high spirits.

He appealed for the people to continue upholding the spirit of volunteerism for the country to move forward after the recent calamity.

The President thanked other local government units and private companies for extending their assistance to the flood victims. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

Local news

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