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VP Binay visits Nona-hit towns in Northern Samar

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CATARMAN, Northern Samar â€• Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Monday flew to Northern Samar to visit Catarman and several towns hit by typhoon Nona.


Binay is the first national government official to visit the province after the typhoon that left in its wake P974 million in damages.


“The report we received from our briefing with (Northern Samar) Governor (Jose) Ong is that 90 percent of the province was devastated by the typhoon. We were also informed 24 towns were affected and that only five percent electricity in the province has been restored,” the Vice President said.


After visiting Catarman, the Vice President also conducted ocular inspections in the towns of Bobon, San Jose, Rosario, Lavezares, and Allen.


During his visit to the affected areas, Binay urged local government units (LGUs) to support the national government efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. At the same time, the Vice President also called on the national government to assist LGUs, especially in disaster response.


“If we look at the past three or four years, the strongest typhoons that hit our country arrived in November and December. This is becoming the new normal and so should always remain vigilant even during the holiday season,” he said.


“Climate change is a reality that must be addressed head on. We should shore up programs on disaster resiliency,” Binay added.


According to the initial report of the Eastern Visayas Regional Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), Nona destroyed nearly 65,000 houses in Northern Samar during its onslaught last week.


Disaster response agencies also pegged the damage to public infrastructure at P743.43 million and to agriculture, P230.587 million.


The Northern Samar Electric Cooperative meanwhile said the earliest it could restore normal service is December 22.


Prior to his visit to Northern Samar, Binay also visited areas in Central Luzon affected by floods caused by Nona, including Gapan and Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija and San Miguel in Bulacan.

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