Mawar reminds importance of a `Department of Disaster’ – Go
Photograph courtesy of sbg | Senator ‘Bong’ Go.
With Typhoon Mawar, to be locally referred to as “Betty,” entering the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated the importance of preparedness, cooperation, and the urgent need for the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience.
In an ambush interview after personally providing assistance to fire victims in Sta. Cruz, Manila on Wednesday, 24 May, Go emphasized the necessity of more proactive measures when dealing with natural calamities, reiterating his long-standing appeal for the establishment of the DDR through his proposed Senate Bill No. 188, a cabinet-level department dedicated to disaster response and mitigation efforts.
“Alam n’yo, unang-una, kaya nga po noon pa nananawagan po ako na magkaroon tayo ng isang departamento, Department of Disaster Resilience, a cabinet secretary-level, na bago dumating ang bagyo, preposition of goods agad, coordination ng department secretary with DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and other concerned agencies,” explained Go.
“Ayusin na ang preposition of goods. Coordination with Coast Guard, ilikas agad ang ating mga kababayan sa ligtas na lugar,” he added.
He also stressed the need for immediate restoration and rehabilitation efforts after a calamity, with coordinated actions between the DDR and other pertinent agencies.
“Pag-alis ng bagyo, restoration of normalcy agad at rehabilitation efforts. At ang coordination po ng cabinet secretary, coordination with Department of Energy, para maayos agad ang mga kuryenteng naputol,” he said.
“’Yung mga telecommunications, coordination with DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) para sa mga posteng natumba ma-clearing agad,” he added.
Addressing the frequent occurrence of natural disasters in the Philippines, Go earlier pledged to continue pushing for the passage of said crucial legislation. He emphasized the importance of being one step ahead in disaster preparedness, highlighting the need for a dedicated agency to oversee disaster response and mitigation efforts.
“Hindi natin maiiwasan ang pagdating ng lindol o bagyo, pero mas mabuti na palagi tayong handa para maiwasan natin ang mas malalaking pinsala o pagkawala ng buhay na maidudulot ng mga ito,” he explained.
“Kaya naman nagpupursige ako sa Senado na maipasa ang panukalang ito para masiguro na may ahensyang tututok sa ating disaster response at mitigation efforts,” added Go.
Meanwhile, the senator also urged the public and local governments to remain vigilant and rely on accurate information from trusted sources, avoiding the spread of fake news.
“Sa ngayon po, may parating na bagyo, nakikiusap po ako sa mga kababayan natin, sumunod po tayo sa paalala. Halimbawa, sinabi ng local government, lumikas kayo sa ligtas na lugar, sa evacuation center,” he urged.
“At nananawagan naman ako sa LGUs (local government units), bigyan ng maayos na evacuation center, higaan, komportableng comfort room po, pagkain po lalo na ang mga bata na maaaring magkasakit. Monitor lang po kayo, ‘wag po kayong maniwala sa mga fake news. Tutok po kayo mula sa gobyerno, tutok po kayo sa mga balita ng ating trimedia,” he added.
Previously, Go emphasized the importance of individual preparedness and adherence to the directives of LGUs. He urged the government and the public to work hand in hand, emphasizing that monetary losses and material possessions can be regained, but the loss of human lives is irreversible.
“Paulit-ulit ko nga pong sinasabi sa tuwing may sakuna, bagyo man iyan, sunog, lindol, o pagputok ng bulkan: magtulungan tayo. Ang pera, maaaring kitain iyan. Ang mga gamit natin, maaari nating mapalitan. Pero ang buhay, hindi iyan nabibili. A lost life is lost forever. Kaya mag-ingat, maghanda, at alagaan po natin ang buhay ng bawat isa,” said Go.
To complement the DDR, Go also filed SBN 193, or the Mandatory Evacuation Center Act, which aims to ensure the availability of safe and clean evacuation centers in every city, municipality, and province across the country.
“Hindi po ako titigil sa pagsusulong ng mga panukalang batas na ito. Napapanahon na para magkaroon tayo ng DDR at mandatory evacuation centers para mapangalagaan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan,” Go affirmed.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has downgraded Mawar from a super typhoon to a typhoon on Wednesday but said it has the potential to regain strength as it moves towards the Philippines.
The typhoon is projected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday, and is anticipated to be fully within PAR by Saturday.
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