Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on Saturday led a relief caravan to distribute relief goods and other forms of assistance to Ilocos Norte residents in areas hardest hit by typhoon Ineng (International name Goni).
Packing winds of up to 170 kph, typhoon Ineng slammed Northern Luzon third week of August, triggering floods and landslides that caused damage to homes and infrastructure. A total of 46,446 families in 383 barangays of Ilocos Norte were affected by the typhoon. The agriculture sector suffered extensive damage estimated at over P92 million.
The relief caravan, conducted on the eve of the senator’s birthday, covered barangays San Marcelino in Dingras town, Catangraran in Solsona, and Metro Lapaz in Laoag City which had the most number of affected families in the province.
“Sabi ko sa pamilya ko at sa aking staff na huwag na lang mag party dahil hindi naman maganda na magsasaya tayo samantalang maraming naghihirap dahil sa bagyo kaya’t mas mabuti pa tumulong na lang tayo,” Marcos told the residents.
The entire Marcos family, including Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos Manotoc and her sons, as well as the senator’s sons took part in the relief caravan.
Apart from food items, the relief caravan distributed construction materials such as cement and corrugated iron sheets, and water pumps. Marcos said they would also distribute rice seeds and other essential items to enable affected residents to start their lives anew.
Sen. Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, vowed that his family would work to restore vital infrastructure such as roads, bridges, irrigation canals and flood control systems damaged by typhoon Ineng.
Notwithstanding his wish for a simple birthday celebration the residents of the three barangays welcomed him with the traditional Ilocano birthday greeting “Papapadakam”, which includes placing a halo of roses on the celebrator's head and offering roses while singing.
As he acknowledged their greetings and thanked them for their warm welcome, Sen. Marcos reminded them that a lot of work still needs to be done to assist residents in other areas that also sustained typhoon damage.
A total of 21 barangays in the entire province of Ilocos Norte reported damage to properties and infrastructure as a result of typhoon Ineng.
As of September 10, all of the affected families have returned to their homes. Roads have been cleared, and power and communication have been restored province-wide.