Marcos: LGUs on alert, national government ready to assist in 'Mawar' response

Marcos: LGUs on alert, national government ready to assist in 'Mawar' response
In this handout photo, representatives of member agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council discuss the mitigation, preparation, and possible response efforts for the effects of Tropical Cyclone Mawar on May 5, 2023.

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has been in constant contact with counterparts in the local government units as the Philippines — particularly northern Luzon — prepares for strong winds and rain from super typhoon 'Mawar', President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Friday. He added the national government has already put personnel and resources on standby for disaster response.

Marcos told media after a program marking the anniversary of the Philippine Navy that local government units have been told to make their own preparations for the super typhoon, which is expected to hit peak strength of 220 kilometer-per-hour winds.

"So, what we are doing is we leave it to the LGUs right now to make the call on their specific steps," Marcos said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

"But the national government will be there to assist," he also said.

According to the Presidential Communications Office, search, rescue and retrival units of thr Armed Forces of the Philippines are already on alert for potential humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Around 7,970 military personnel and 4,242 Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit militia members and 180 reservists have been designated first responders, PCO also said. The military has also put 2,518 land vehicles, 20 aircraft and 265 boats on standby for disaster response.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office also said that response teams and equipment are already on standby.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Cagayan — among the areas expected to be most affected by 'Mawar' said in a report on TeleRadyo that coastal communities have been alerted and that preparations are under way. The PDDRMO of Batanes said that similar preparations are being done on the island province. 

Metro Manila response units ready to assist regions

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Thursday said that local disaster response units in the capital have already made preparations, but are also planning for deploying to regions hit by the super typhoon if necessary.

MMDA acting chair Don Artes said then that "what we are really looking at is deploying to help out places outside Metro Manila."

He said that LGUs in the capital region "are already prepared, equipped and trained" and might be needed for operations in areas in the regions that do not have the same resources.

Marcos on Friday said that the national government is "in constant communication with the local governments to see what is the situation in their place — for when the typhoon has passed and the rains have subsided, we will see (what assistance they will need)." 

Marcos has said in past disaster response operations that he would rather let LGUs and agencies do their work, adding going to calamity sites himself would distract from ongoing relief work.

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