By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (File photo) 

MANILA – Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on Thursday said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) purification teams will be deployed as part of the relief efforts in the flood and landslide-hit areas in Davao and Caraga regions.

“I just called up the MMDA and they are more than willing to send their teams (in Davao and Caraga) to help our LGUs (local government units),” Abalos said, noting that 80 portable water purification machines are expected to arrive on Thursday to help the flood victims.

A mobile water purifying machine can convert 180 gallons of potable water per hour which the affected residents could use for their daily needs such as cooking and drinking, among others.

In a meeting presided over by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on Wednesday, Abalos emphasized the importance of access to clean water during emergencies and suggested to the President to dispatch the MMDA purification teams in affected areas.

In the briefing, President Marcos ordered the immediate release of PHP265 million in financial assistance to the victims which will be sourced from his office.

He lauded the local chief executives in the affected areas for their prompt response and for carrying out the critical actions listed on the “Operation Listo” disaster preparedness manual that helped mitigate the impact of floods.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier reported that some 1.12 million people were affected by massive floods and landslides caused by the trough of a low pressure area in Davao and Caraga regions. (PNA)