Transportation Secretary Art Tugade flew to Surigao last Saturday, February 11 to personally lead the assessment of the Surigao airport and other transport facilities, following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that shook the city Friday night.
Tugade, along with other airport officials, arrived in Surigao just hours after a notice to airmen (NOTAM) was issued closing the airport due to extensive damage on its runway. The closure was directed to give way to repair and rehabilitation of the facility. The tower, airport terminal, and facilities were minimally damaged and no staff was injured.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) sent engineers to the airport to conduct a detailed assessment and fast track the repairs.
Local airlines such as PAL, PAL Express, and Cebu Pacific Express expressed all-out support to government relief operations in Surigao.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also dispatched a search and rescue vessel from Cebu to deliver clean drinking water to affected areas in Surigao. Around 150 PCG personnel were also mobilized to augment government operations in Surigao.
PCG assets in Surigao include 1 vessel, 5 aluminum boats, 3 trucks, 1 Innova and 33 personnel who are helping repack at the Surigao City Hall.
Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas, in her statement to the Cabinet, expressed her appreciation for the quick response of DOTr Sec. Tugade to aid the earthquake-struck province.