MONITORING PREPS. Senator Christopher Lawrence Go joins the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday (Oct. 31, 2020). Go said the President is monitoring the preparations for the onslaught of “Rolly”, ensuring that government agencies are ready to extend immediate assistance to areas along the typhoon’s path. (Screengrab from the Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte continues to monitor the country's preparations for the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said on Saturday.

"Patuloy po ang monitoring namin ni Pangulo sa status ng bagyong ito. Sinisigurado ng Pangulo na laging handa ang mga ahensya na magbigay ng immediate assistance sa mga lugar na maapektuhan ng bagyo (The President and I continue to monitor the status of this typhoon. He is making sure that government agencies are prepared to extend immediate assistance to areas hit by this typhoon)," Go said in a Laging Handa briefing.

He assured that Duterte’s attention is focused on these agencies.

"Ang kanyang gustong mangyari, tuwing may mga ganito ay maibalik kaagad, ma-normalize kaagad ang sitwasyon (What he wants to happen every time a disaster strikes, is for the situation to normalize right away)," Go added.

The Chief Executive is currently in Mindanao.

Go noted that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is also keeping an eye on all developments, down to the barangay level, and is ready to distribute relief goods once the storm has passed.

Since Wednesday, the council has been coordinating with various government agencies and regularly assessing the situation.

Go, meanwhile, asked Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado if local government units (LGUs) could request additional aid from the executive branch, especially those along the path of the typhoon.

"Dahil sa nangyaring pandemya, karamihan po sa mga LGU ay nagamit na ang calamity fund nila at ang iba po ay, I'm sure, naubos na (Because of the pandemic, many of the LGUs have used their calamity fund. I’m sure some of them have depleted their funds)," he said.

“Rolly”, expected to be the "world's strongest typhoon this year," has maintained its strength as it moves towards the Bicol region.

In its 2 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the eye of the typhoon was located at 410 km. east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes at 1 p.m.

The typhoon packs maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 265 kph, moving west-southwestward at 15 kph. (PNA)