Monday, September 28, 2009

Arroyo opens Malacañang for ‘Ondoy’ relief ops

09/28/2009 | 03:59 PM

In the wake of rescue and relief efforts for the victims of tropical storm "Ondoy," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday opened the doors of Malacañang Palace for the setting up of a relief operations center.

"The President (said) na gawing sentro ng relief operations ang Malacañang, even if kailangan mag-move out ng First Family dito," Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in an interview on dzBB radio.

(The President said that Malacañang be the center of relief operations, even if the First Family had to move out.)

A separate radio report said the center would help government agencies pitch in their efforts for faster coordination of their services to the storm’s victims.

The report added that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Remonde were finalizing plans for the installation of an emergency assistance center at the Palace.

Ondoy battered Metro Manila and the Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions on Saturday – its torrential rains left thousands displaced and about a hundred dead, as of Monday noon.

On Sunday, President Arroyo visited the Ortigas Extension in Pasig City to extend her sympathies to the flood victims in the affected area. She later went to Arayat town in Pampanga to commiserate with the victims in her home province.

The radio report said that on Monday, Mrs. Arroyo went to Marilao, Bulacan to distribute relief goods. Her trip was cut short due to strong rains.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Ondoy will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring occasional rains over the western sections of Central and Southern Luzon on Monday. - Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV

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