Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos on Thursday (November 23) reminded local chief executives to ensure they are not “missing in action” during calamities and emergency situations such as what were currently happening in several Samar provinces.

The call was made during the visit of President Ferdinand R.  Marcos, Jr. in Tacloban City with Cabinet members.

They were briefed on the effects of the shear line and the low-pressure area that triggered massive flooding in Northern Samar and nearby provinces.

Abalos said that the physical presence of local executives is very important during these challenging situations as they are expected to implement and oversee the conduct of appropriate disaster response measures in their respective localities.

This is enshrined in the DILG’s Operation L!sto Manual, LCEs must be present before, during and after any disaster,” he said.

Sundin po natin ito upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan,” Abalos continued.

President Marcos and Abalos arrived in Tacloban on Thursday morning, along with Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, and Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

They later attended a hybrid briefing along with local officials, and representatives from regional offices of different government agencies.

The top national officials were later briefed on the situation on the ground especially on the immediate needs of the affected residents in the provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar, Samar, and Leyte.

Damages in the agriculture sector, fisheries, and infrastructure were also reported by the local officials.

President Marcos ordered all concerned agencies  to continue providing food packs to affected families, even as the National Housing Authority (NHA) vowed to provide shelter subsidy of P10,000 per household.

The provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar are currently both under the state of calamity. ###