President Duterte yesterday afternoon committed to release P40 million for the construction of a new clinic in the quake-hit municipality of Itbayat in Batanes instead of repairing the damaged hospital that he said would be more expensive.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said while the Itbayat District Hospital suffered minimal cracks, it was still fully functional and would be able to attend to the individuals reported to have been injured in the earthquake.
However, Duterte, in a situation briefing in Itbayat, said he wants a new clinic instead of repairing the damaged hospital.
“I am not keen on repairing, that’s too expensive and you are not sure of its durability or viability. So bigyan mo na lang ako ng what needs to be done,” he said. “I’ll give you P40 million… I hope you’d put it to good use. The P40 million would bring you something like small parang clinic, hospital. Hindi naman kayo marami dito,” he added.
Duterte ordered authorities to ensure that supply lines in Batanes are working to make sure nobody gets hungry. “Make sure that your supply line is working so that nobody gets hungry and people are not short of supply,” he said.
Before the situation briefing, Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of the affected areas in Itbayat. He also provided cash assistance to the families of casualties and injured in the earthquake.
Nograles said the government continues to mobilize resources to extend assistance to the victims of the earthquake. He said the government is working to ensure that medical services would be available to those injured and displaced by the earthquakes. (Argyll Geducos)