Robredo calls for stricter measures against landslides
MANILA, Philippines — Stricter measures for warning people about dangerous areas where landslides can occur should be enforced, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday.
Her statement came after a landslide, which struck Barangay Patitinan, Sagñay in Camarines Sur due to heavy rains brought about by Tropical Depression “Usman” killed at least 25 people.
Responders continue to search and retrieve bodies buried by the landslide.
“Iyong sabi kasi ng DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) na engineer, mayroon na daw warning iyong mga families doon na talagang may danger siyang mag-landslide, pero may mga ayaw umalis dahil nandoon iyong hanapbuhay,” Robredo told reporters after she visited the wake of the victims of the landslide.
(An engineer from the DPWH said the families have been warned of the danger of a landslide in those areas, but the residents refused to leave because of their livelihood in the area.)
“Pero siguro ngayon, kailangan puwersahin na hindi na pabalikin, kasi talagang hindi worth ng buhay nila iyong pagpunta (But now, we should already enforce it. The residen should never really be allowed to return because it is not worth losing their lives),” she added.
Robredo likewise urged local officials to identify other areas that are prone to landslides and force residents to leave those areas to ensure their safety.
The vice president explained that prevention is key to dealing with disasters, such as the lanslide in Camarines Sur.
“Dapat intindihin na iyong prevention, malaking bagay siya. Iyong mitigation, iyong prevention, malaking bagay siya sa disaster management (Mitigation and prevention are important in disaster management),” she said.
Robredo also said that the government should invest in seawalls and flood control projects, and the government should think of long-term measures that will save the lives of the people.
She noted that when she visited the landslide-struck town, the rescuers are still conducting retrieval operations. So far, 16 remain missing and 30 bodies were found from the site.
“Kapag tiningnan natin iyong landslide, hindi lang isang lugar, eh. Napakaraming lugar, tapos grabe talaga iyong pagguho (The landslide did not occur only in one place, and the erosion was severe),” she said.
“Kaya siguro ang hanapin, mas permanente nang solusyon. Baka hindi na talaga puwedeng patirahan doon sa area kasi delikado na masyado (Maybe we should already look for a permanent solution. Maybe those areas are no longer liveable as they are really dangerous),” she added. /ee
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