Senator Christopher ”Bong” Go, on Friday, 26 May, emphasized the importance of government preparedness and citizen awareness as Super Typhoon Betty entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
With the potential for heavy rainfall and flooding, Go, during an ambush interview after attending the groundbreaking for the Super Health Center in Libertad, Misamis Oriental, called on the national government to coordinate with local government units to ensure the safety and well-being of affected communities..
“Nakikiusap po ako sa national government, sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), preposition of goods kaagad at coordination with LGUs,” he added.
Go stressed the significance of effective coordination with LGUs, saying, “Napakaimportante po ng coordination with LGUs dahil sila po ang nakakaalam kung saan dapat ilikas, saan ‘yung safe na lugar, saan dapat ‘yung evacuation center.”
He also emphasized the need for the national government to be on top of the situation to guide citizens needing assistance. The senator also urged citizens not to be complacent and to adhere to government advisories.
“Sa ngayon pa lang, huwag tayong magpakakumpiyansa. Habang papasok pa lang, may panahon po tayo na mag-prepare,” said Go.
“Sumunod tayo sa paalala ng gobyerno. Sundin natin kung kailangan na lumikas. Umalis na sa mababang lugar, ‘yung mga prone sa flooding dahil delikado ‘yan,” he urged.
The senator urged citizens to stay informed through reliable information sources and to heed the guidance of local officials and authorities.
Go also stressed the necessity of LGUs having ready relief supplies, search and rescue teams, and appropriate equipment, including personnel trained in emergency response.
The typhoon’s passing may result in significant rainfall, potentially causing flash floods and landslides, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.
The projected path of the storm indicates that it will be approximately 250 kilometers away from Batanes and the Babuyan Islands within the weekend.
During the interview, Go also took the opportunity to push for his advocacy for the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience.
“Yun po ang aking pinapangarap at hindi po ako titigil na isulong po ito. Sana po ay maging batas ito someday, itong Department of Disaster Resilience,” he said.
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.
“Hindi ‘yung panay task force, task force ng pangalan ng typhoon. Eh ang problema n’yan kapag bagong administrasyon, mawawala na naman po ang task force. Kaya dapat Cabinet level para tuluy-tuloy po ang rehabilitasyon at makabalik sa normal ang apektadong mga komunidad,” concluded Go.
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