News Release

PBBM orders agencies, LGUs to make potable water readily available to flooded communities in Samar

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered agencies and local governments in Samar on Thursday to ensure the supply of sufficient potable water in communities affected by flooding, following the continuous heavy rains that inundated areas in Eastern Visayas.

“I was just discussing… what we usually do is we provide water purification equipment. So, we will…as soon as possible, send in those, (but) for the moment we’ll just have to provide actual water,” President Marcos said on Thursday during situation briefing on Samar flooding held in Tacloban City.

“Yun muna ang una nating gagawin, wala tayong choice. Because the … cannot commit yet tapos we will have to bring it (filtration system) from other places,” he said.

According to Samar local officials, there is available water filtration system in Bicol and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) can also bring in additional water purifying machines.

During the briefing, the President added that current infrastructures are no longer capable of handling floodwater caused by excessive rain which he described as a result of changing weather pattern.

Communities and the government must adjust to respond to these developments, Marcos said.

“The photos that we saw – kitang-kita na the protections… Our sewers are not enough anymore because of the change in the weather that became severe,” he added.

“We have not experienced this kind of heavy rain over such a long period of time. Considering na walang bagyo, wala naman talagang bagyo. Considering that this is the new normal, this is the new weather that we have to adjust to.”

The flooding affected 37 municipalities and 14,260 families, equivalent to 458,137 individuals, officials said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that there are 163 evacuation centers temporary sheltering 51,000 individuals. Outside the evacuation centers, the region has around 7,912 families affected by the disaster.

The President, together with other officials, flew to Eastern Visayas on Thursday to assess the damage of the incessant rain and directed agencies on the government’s disaster response.

President Marcos wanted agencies to intensify and prioritize the provision of food items to affected families and to prepare rehabilitation plans that could be immediately carried out once the floodwater subsides. PND