Quantcast
Latest Stories

Editorial

For the next emergency


It was exactly one year yesterday when the infamous “Chona Mae” case broke out in Cebu City a few hours after an earthquake shook Negros Oriental and with it, parts of Cebu, including Metro Cebu.

The dark overcast skies didn’t warn residents then of the few minutes that the earth trembled under their feet and rattled their nerves. Old timers didn’t remember the last time they experienced a major earthquake since they were more concerned about flooding which has become worse as the years go by.

When residents went outside and asked themselves what could have caused the quake, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the quake originated in Negros Oriental and battered some areas in Central Visayas as well as Dumaguete City.

It wasn’t long before residents of barangay Pasil were seen screaming at the top of their lungs and running like a horde of wayward bulls, alarming passersby when they shouted “tsunami!”

The year before, on March 2011, the world watched in horror as huge waves swept through Japan’s shores and devastating homes and buildings and damaging nuclear reactors that provided most of that country’s power supply.

The word “tsunami” was enough to cause city residents to abandon their jeepneys and cars, and make a run for it, despite Phivolcs later clarifying that Cebu couldn’t be hit by a tsunami because the province is strategically located between two islands that would absorb the brunt of a tidal wave before it reaches the province’s shores.

But a commotion ensued. In the aftermath, radio blocktime commentator Danilo Cogtas was identified as a culprit. Until now, the criminal charge of public alarm and disturbance is pending in court and Cogtas continues to maintain his innocence.

In the months since then, what’s been done to set up system that would prevent another false alarm from causing mass hysteria? Or to respond to a legitimate threat of calamity?

A long-discussed plan to set up a 911 emergency response system should finally get off the ground. Other cities like Davao, Taguig and Makati are way ahead of Cebu City.

The move of some concerned doctors and civic-spirited citizens to get this moving is a good sign. To leave the heavy lifting to the government is a sure recipe of delay.

A 911 system is something both Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and former mayor Tomas Osmena support (It was Osmeña’s original dream to set up a high-tech command center.). Before the election season heats up further, all stakeholders should push hard to make progress.

When a resident of Cebu City — or Metro Cebu — cries for help in a typhoon, earthquake, firestorm, landslide or three-vehicle collision — he shouldn’t be left struggling alone in ignorance. Aid and resources pooled by government and the private sector should be within his reach, a three-digit phone call away.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cebu City , Danilo “Danny” Cogtas , Earthquakes , Emergencies , Media , tsunami scare




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement