By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

(Photo courtesy of BFP Batanes)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) remain on full alert to assist local government units (LGUs) in responding to the effects of Severe Tropical Storm Falcon and the southwest monsoon (habagat), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Monday.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said all hands are on deck to ensure the safety of residents in affected communities as most parts of Luzon remain drenched due to bad weather.

Abalos said the DILG is also closely working with concerned national government agencies to mobilize support and assistance to vulnerable local government units (LGUs).

“Nakatutok po ang Pangulo sa sitwasyon. Hindi rin po tayo tumitigil sa pag-alalay sa mga LGUs at sa ating mga kababayan. Simula pa noong Super Typhoon Egay at ngayong si Falcon naman, hindi po bumibitaw ang ating PNP at BFP para tulungan ang mga LGUs (The President is focusing on the situation. We also do not stop supporting the LGUs and our fellow citizens. Ever since Super Typhoon Egay and now Falcon, our PNP and BFP have not given up to help the LGUs),” said Abalos.

The DILG chief said coordination with the governors of affected regions is currently underway to tackle preemptive and response efforts as heavy rains and floods are expected for the next few days as Falcon continues to enhance the southwest monsoon.

He likewise urged LGUs to continue to evacuate affected families and individuals, especially in hard-hit areas and those experiencing heavy floods.

Abalos also encouraged the public to be vigilant and cooperate with the authorities in its disaster response efforts.

Further, he urged LGUs to enforce the no sailing policy for fishermen and sea-faring vessels where gale warnings were issued. (PNA)