56% Filipinos demands for disaster preparedness and early warning systems

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 10, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change revealed yesterday that most Filipinos believed that there is a need for disaster preparedness and early warning system should scattered in the country as our countrymen recognizes the importance of prompt alerts on impending disasters, saying that the government must heed the people’s demand through the immediate establishment of early warning systems and prioritization of disaster preparedness programs.


“Pulse Asia survey revealed that 56% of the citizenry demanded that there is a need to prioritize early warning mechanisms among its disaster preparedness efforts, following by the storing up of relief goods (19%), designating evacuation centers (16%), and purchasing rescue and relief equipment (10%),” Legarda said, stressing that it is advantageous of establishing effective early warning systems in the community where the government should work on it immediately.


The Senator added that early warning system must be able to integrate risk knowledge, monitoring and warning service, risk communication and warning dissemination, and the response capacity of the community, noting that the same survey also revealed that after disasters, 61% of Filipinos were not satisfied with the government services and assistance they received from the government where they are spending millions for disaster relief operations.


“Investing in disaster preparedness, especially on early warning mechanisms, will not only save lives and properties but also reduce expenses on post-disaster efforts such as relief and rehabilitation,” she pointed out.


Legarda furthered that effective early warning does not have to be costly, citing that sirens or whistles can be used as early warning devices and training programs for volunteers can facilitate awareness and education on disasters and arm the community against the perils of hazards.


“It is good to know that Filipinos are aware of the importance of establishing effective early warning device in their community,” Legarda said, saying that investing early warning save people lives and reduce economic impacts of disasters.


Legarda furthered that the country is disaster prone areas being situated in the ring of fire that render us susceptible to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes where preparedness and mitigation have become matters of extreme urgency.


Disaster Reduction and Management Council records showed that numerous earthquakes occur within the Philippine archipelago every now and then mainly because the country is situated along two major tectonic plates: the Pacific plates and the Eurasian plates, adding that the country has 220 volcanoes, 22 of which are potentially active. The country is also vulnerable to typhoons and tsunamis as well as one of the typhoon belts of the world. (Jason de Asis)

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