CLOSE COORDINATION. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. holds a situation briefing in Bangued, Abra on Thursday (July 28, 2022), a day after a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Abra. Marcos directed the national government agencies to closely coordinate with local government units for quick quake response. (Photo from OPS)

MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. directed Thursday the national government agencies (NGAs) to coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) to ensure the immediate emergency response to quake-hit areas.

Marcos issued the directive in a situation briefing held in Bangued, Abra, as he recognized the LGUs' vital role in providing emergency relief to quake victims.

"So, we do what we usually do. Work together with the local government so that we can make sure na walang nangangailangan na hindi natin nabigyan ng tulong (that no people who need help will be left unattended)," he told the NGAs.

Marcos said rebuilding efforts must be the government's top priority for the fast recovery of the quake-stricken areas in Abra province and other parts of Luzon.

Stressing that LGUs are the ones that have "fundamental responsibility to bring this aid to the people," Marcos said the national and local governments must "plan everything together."

"The LGUs are always the ones — the municipal mayors, the governors, the vice governors, ay kayo ang nakakaalam kung ano (they know) what the situation is on the ground," he said. "I will repeat it, national government agencies, lahat nang gagawin ninyo, (everything you will do) please coordinate closely with the local government para ma-maximize ang inyong mga asset (so you can maximize your assets)."

Assist those rendered 'homeless' in isolated areas

Marcos also ordered the immediate restoration of water, power, and communication lines in quake-hit areas.

He said quake victims who have been rendered "homeless" must be given the necessary assistance.

"Doon sa mga naapektuhang, mga naging biktima (On the quake victims), let's make sure that we are ready to support them and give them all that they need," Marcos said.

This, after Marcos was informed that around 28 houses were "totally" damaged, while 2,362 others were "partially" damaged.

"I think we have a good idea of the situation. Let us go once again through the list of the requirements, the needs. Number one is water supply and of course, whatever the financial support the DSWD is intending to provide para 'yung mga (so those) rendered homeless or at least [those that] have been evacuated, eh may support naman sila ng kaunti (will receive aid)," Marcos said.

Marcos also directed concerned national government agencies, including the Department of National Defense (DND) to help quake-hit areas, especially the seven reported isolated towns in Abra province.

"Sa air assets ng DND, we will arrange para hindi tayo masyadong nahihirapan at maiaabot na natin 'yung isolated areas (We will arrange the DND's air assets so we can reach the isolated areas)," he said.

Inspect hospitals, buildings

Marcos likewise directed the proper coordination with civil engineers for the conduct of inspection of government buildings, as well as residential properties.

He said hospitals must top the list of facilities that will be inspected.

"I think your priority will be, quite right, is the hospitals, uunahin natin, even before the government buildings. Unahin natin yung mga ospital (Prioritize hospitals). When we organize that, let's go first to the hospital, let's go first to the health care centers. And then we can go to the government buildings," Marcos said.

Marcos also emphasized the need to inspect the houses of quake victims to determine if it is already "safe" for them to return home. (PNA)