MANILA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Beningo Aquino III ordered on Tuesday all the concerned government agencies to rescue the victims and provide assistance to all the areas affected by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in central Philippines.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a news briefing that the Department of Social Welfare and Development ( DSWD) has standby funds of 8.7 million pesos (201,856 U.S. dollars) for central Philippines provinces.
Aquino has instructed Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman to "ensure that the assistance needed by the local ( government units) are extended" soon after the quake, Valte said.
Valte said that even the military and the police are augmenting the local government units' rescue teams, adding that Aquino might visit the hardest hit areas.
At least 20 people were reported killed after several structures collapsed in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.
A magnitude 7.2 quake in a depth of 33 km jolted Bohol and parts of the Visayas and Mindanao regions at 8:12 a.m. Tuesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.