Duterte: Skip TV networks, course donations through military, gov't

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — President Duterte cautioned donors from giving donations to what he called "prominent TV stations," and, instead, course these through the military and government.

Duterte was in Isabela province Tuesday, as he continued to visit areas hit by Typhoon Ompong.

The storm lashed Northen Luzon over the weekend, killing at least 70 people in Luzon according to the Philippine National Police.

In Itogon, Benguet more than a dozen people died from a landslide, while rescuers are racing against time to save at least 40 others who remain buried.

The President said he has seen first-hand how donations of clothes do not directly reach the intended beneficiaries.

"I'm giving you a testimony. Personal... because I have a TV program, nakikita ko yung matatanda sa opisina, they're sorting out the things that were usable, or are usable for them. Sinasabi ko alam ba nito sa taas?" he said.

[Translation: I'm giving you my testimony. Personal... because I have a TV program, I saw old people at the office, they're sorting out the things that were usable, or are usable for them. I asked if people upstairs knew about this.]

He also spoke against giving cash donations via networks.

"Ang sabi mag-donate kayo – used clothes, ganon, sa kanila tapos [They say donate – things like used clothes, to them and] they'll give you a bank account number where you can deposit your donation. You're better off giving it to government or to the military and let them distribute it. Direct," he added.

"Pero maniwala kayo sa akin [But believe me] as your President, I'm giving you the... what I saw and what I have learned."

Disaster officials earlier said New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, South Korea and United States have offered help for Ompong-affected communities.

On Tuesday, the European Union said they mobilized a €2 million emergency aid package to help victims of the storm.

In a statement released Tuesday, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said, "Our contribution will help provide crucial support to those most in need and help them face the challenges during this time of need."