President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday, 29 October, expressed disappointment and sought an explanation from government offices after 45 people were reported to have died from the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” in Maguindanao.
“I would like to start with the flooding in Maguindanao simply because we have to already look at it dahil ang daming casualty,” the President said as he virtually presided over the full council meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)
“It will be important to us to look back and see why this happened na hindi natin naagapan ito,” he said, adding that the number seems very high for a flooding incident.
The chief executive expressed concern over the number of individuals who perished in Maguindanao due to landslides and flashfloods caused by the storm.
“I’m a little bit concerned why the situation in Maguindanao was so bad; let’s study it further, Sec. Solidum, and we’ll find what we can do para mas maging accurate ang mga forecast natin especially sa flooding ‘cause that seems to be the problem now,” said Marcos, referring to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr.
“We could have done better in Maguindanao in terms of preparing because… the 40 deaths with 10 people missing is a little too high. We should have done better than that,” the President pointed out.
During the meeting, Acting Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr. clarified that the report coming from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was “initially as 67 for validation.”
“They conducted a meeting this morning in the BARMM area and they have corrected the figure from 67 to 40,” Faustino said.
The President has earlier instructed national government agencies to assist the BARMM in its relief and rescue operations on the recent flooding in Maguindanao.
On the instruction of the chief executive, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said that the government has available overall relief resources of P1.5 billion with P445.2 million standby funds and quick response fund (QRF).