UPDATE: Contrary to early reports, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. will not immediately fly to Abra after it was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake on Wednesday morning.
“I am staying away from going to the affected areas for a very simple reason: It has been my experience as governor, it has been my experience in Yolanda that when the national officers come to the affected areas immediately, ginugulo lang namin ‘yung trabaho ng mga local,” Marcos said in an emergency press briefing.
“Let them do their work. Let us wait for them to tell us what is going to be — what the true situation is and maybe I can schedule a trip perhaps tomorrow as soon as possible,”
In an earlier press conference, Press secretary Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles disclosed Marcos wants to personally check the impact of the quake in the said province.
She said Marcos may also visit other areas, which were devastated by the strong quake.
“He will go to all those areas where it is necessary, that his presence will be necessary,” Angeles said.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded the epicenter of the tectonic quake, which happened at 8:43 am last Wednesday, was in Tayum Abra.
It damaged several structures and roads in the province, and was felt in multiple parts of Luzon, including the National Capital Region (NCR).
Angeles said Marcos ordered the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) immediate deployment of rescue and relief assistance, respectively, in the province.
“Right now he is focused on disaster relief and response. We are just getting feedback about the extent of the damage in certain areas. So the President will put this as his priority, and most likely might cancel certain appointments,” Angeles said.
The President also appealed to the telecommunication firms to ensure communication channels will remain in quake-hit areas.
He may also order for the release of additional funds in the affected areas if there will be a need for it, according to Angeles.