President Rodrigo Duterte at a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

    PRESIDENT Duterte is in his home in Davao City, monitoring the situation especially in areas affected by super typhoon “Rolly,” and issuing instructions on evacuation and aid provision, his spokesman said yesterday.

    Harry Roque said Duterte is set to fly to Manila on Tuesday.

    He issued the statement as questions were raised in social media about the President’s whereabouts during typhoon “Rolly,” the strongest so far this year. The “#NasaanAngPangulo” (Where is the President) topped the Philippines’ trends on Twitter yesterday.

    Roque, as a press briefing with several Cabinet officials at at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) operations center in Quezon City, said Duterte is yet unable to fly back to Manila due to the weather condition. He might give a public address from Davao City either late Sunday or on Monday, Roque also said.

    “Ang schedule ng pagbalik niya ay sa Tuesday pero siya ay nakatutok at siya ay nag-utos sa atin na mag-conduct ng ganitong press briefing… Nagmo-monitor ang ating Presidente (He is scheduled to return on Tuesday but he is monitoring the situation and he ordered the conduct of a press briefing… The President is monitoring),” he said.

    Roque said the Office of the President is also holding a separate meeting to determine where it can get additional funds that can be distributed to areas that would need it, while all Cabinet officials are “on call” to ensure that immediate response is provided once the need arises.

    Roque said among the initial orders of the President was for the NDRRMC, along with the Armed Forces, to lead efforts in assisting those affected by the typhoon, including evacuation operations.

    He said authorities would force the evacuation of residents who refuse to leave their areas.

    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and all its disaster response teams along the track of the typhoon have been activated and provisions have been prepositioned.