Duterte vows swift aid for earthquake-hit Batangas

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte assured residents of earthquake-hit Batangas that the government is "on top of the situation," as he prepared to leave for a week-long trip to the Middle East.

Duterte made the assurance in his departure speech at the Davao International Airport on Monday afternoon, April 10. He will be making a state visit to Saudi Arabia (April 10 to 12), Bahrain (April 12 to 14), and Qatar (April 14 to 16).

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake had hit the province of Batangas on April 4, followed by twin tremors on April 8 – magnitude 5.6 and magnitude 6.0. There were no fatalities but the quakes left structures damaged.

"While the assessment of damage by the provincial government still continues, I have directed the national agencies to accelerate the delivery of services and hasten the rehabilitation of the affected public infrastructure and utilities," said Duterte in his speech.

"Rest assured, our government is on top of the situation. I have personally ordered that relief operations be undertaken immediately to restore normalcy to the affected areas as soon as possible," the President also said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said in a statement on Monday that it has provided P1.3 million worth of initial relief assistance.

The supplies include tents, blankets, bottled water, family food packs, ready-to-eat food, and energy drinks. – Rappler.com