THE City Government of Davao once again extends its help to local government units (LGUs) hit by tragedies as local officials, led by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, sent a 49-man team to areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda to help in the search and rescue efforts.

The city is also set to extend P8-million financial assistance to affected areas.

"We just cannot sit. We must go and help," Duterte said, sending off selected personnel of the Central 911, City Social Services and Development Office, City Health Office, Task Force Davao and the Davao City Police Office.

The 49-man rescue team, who brought with them rescue equipment and medical supplies, as well as food and water, left Davao City at dawn Sunday for Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit by Yolanda in the Visayas.

The team will also assist in rescue and relief efforts in other parts of Visayas ravaged by the typhoon. Duterte said the rescue team will stay there "for as long as they are badly needed."

"Davao City prides itself with modern equipment but this is not really intended for Davao City alone. God gave these things to us to serve mankind," the city mayor added.

During the send off, Duterte told the rescue team: "You must go and help. You have to go there to care for them. You have to go there to be with them. You have to go there and even to die for them."

"I wish you a good journey and a safe one," he said.

The team had a group prayer before leaving.

The city mayor will also personally extend sympathy and help to affected areas early today, Monday.

The P8-million aid the city will be giving will be for the hardest hit areas: P2 million for Tacloban City, P3 million for Southern Leyte, and another P3 million for the province of Leyte.

The City Council will hold a special session on Monday to approve the request of Duterte donating millions of cash to the typhoon victims.

Last month, the City Government of Davao extended P18.5 million to 35 municipalities (10 from Cebu province and 25 from Bohol) that were struck by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on October 15.

In its 6 a.m. Sunday update, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center (NDRRMC) said 151 people were reported dead, five missing, and 23 were injured.

It also said Yolanda had affected 982,252 families or 4,459,468 people in 1,741 villages in 343 towns and 39 cities in 36 provinces.

Of these, 86,513 families or 403,503 people are staying in 1,425 evacuation centers. 2,071 houses were destroyed while 1,409 were damaged as of 6 a.m. Sunday.

It added 18 roads and one bridge were affected in Southern Luzon, Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

Damage was estimated at P7,215,831.75, including P4.88 million in infrastructure and P2,335,831.75 in agriculture.

Power and communication restoration work is still ongoing in parts of Southern Luzon, Bicol, Visayas, and Caraga Region.