(December 18, 2021)

In an Emergency Full Council Briefing spearheaded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Friday evening, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his concern about the possible number of casualties that Typhoon Odette might bring in the hard-hit areas.

“I am not so worried about the structures… infrastructures of government. Ang takot ko is kung maraming namatay.” He said that he wanted to see for himself the damage created by Typhoon Odette.

"I'm flying tomorrow to the area (Surigao). Also, I would maybe visit Leyte, and if there is enough time, Bohol," he added.

The President also said that despite the difficulties in the national budget, he is closely working with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to secure funds to support the Odette-affected areas.

Meanwhile, other government agencies namely the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Information and Communications (DICT), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Energy (DOE) presented their situation reports and analyses on the impact of Typhoon Odette.

According to Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of OCD, as of 17 December, preliminary information on 12 fatalities, 7 missing individuals, and 2 injured persons were received by the NDRRMC but the complete details are yet to be verified.

With several affected areas experiencing power interruption, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) assured it has mobilized its line crews already and is currently conducting ground patrols to inspect and assess the impact of the typhoon on its operations and facilities. Simultaneous restoration activities are being conducted in the areas that are already accessible.

“We have to restore immediately the power and communications and continue with the search, rescue and retrieval operations being conducted. We will also provide the needed supplies,” said Usec. Jalad during his presentation.

Earlier this week, as part of the preparedness and response measures, NDRRMC activated its CHARLIE protocol and raised its warning system to Red Alert. DILG instructed the LGUs to conduct pre-emptive evacuations while DOH and DSWD prepositioned the manpower and logistical support in each region.