Traveling Aquino gets updates on ‘Mario’
MANILA, Philippines—Even if President Benigno Aquino III is away on official visits to Europe and the United States, he is well aware of the situation in the country, particularly the heavy rains and flooding caused by Typhoon “Mario.”
The Palace has been regularly updating the President about the situation, with Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. and even Interior Secretary Mar Roxas periodically calling Mr. Aquino, said deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte.
A Palace team in the President’s delegation also ensures that he knows what the government is doing to respond to the effects of the typhoon, she said.
“We have a plan for disaster relief and the President expects everybody to do their share and do their job,” Valte said in a phone interview.
She said Cabinet officials led by Ochoa, Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman were monitoring the situation all day on Friday at Camp Aguinaldo.
Valte said that Ochoa, whom Mr. Aquino has assigned to run the day-to-day affairs of the Office of the President in his absence, has called on the people to follow the advice of their local governments to evacuate because of rising waters in their areas.
At about 8 a.m. on Friday, the Palace announced the suspension of work in government offices in Metro Manila and 17 other provinces affected by the rains, “except those agencies whose work involves delivery of basic and health services, disaster response and other vital public services.” Christine Avendaño
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