Senators call for improved disaster preparedness measures
MANILA, Philippines — Several senators on Tuesday underscored the need to improve disaster preparedness measures in the country following the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck parts of Luzon on Monday.
Senator Sonny Angara said the earthquake manifested the need to have an independent agency focusing on disaster management.
Citing Senate Bill 1994 or the Disaster Resilience Act filed in 2018, Angara said the agency will be called the Department of Disaster Resilience, which will be tasked to spearhead efforts to ensure disaster resilience in the country.
“This strong earthquake reminds us of the urgency to create a single, independent and permanent agency devoted to disaster management and resilience,” Angara said in a statement.
“This new department will oversee a comprehensive and coordinated strategy in managing natural disasters with the main goal of saving lives and minimizing damage to property,” Angara added.
Senator JV Ejercito, meanwhile, urged local national and local government units to inspect infrastructure and ensure that assistance is extended to the victims in their respective areas.
He added that local government units also need to be empowered for better disaster response measures.
“After the shock of this earthquake, let us work to strengthen disaster preparedness and resilience of our communities. Let us empower our local governments so they can respond effectively to disasters,” he added.
Solidarity and resilience of Filipinos
Senator Cynthia Villar called on the public to work together, noting that “the strength and resilience of our people will carry us through this sorrowful time.”
“This is indeed a tragic time for our country, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to the men and women who are taking part in the effort to accelerate rescue operations and to alleviate the suffering of our people in the most affected areas,” Villar said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also expressed her support to rescue units and emergency personnel and advised the public to remain informed in the wake of natural disasters.
“It is important that even as we express our solidarity with one another, we remain calm and help our communities rebuild. I highly encourage all of us to keep ourselves informed at all times, to help inform others, to keep communication lines open and to work with the proper authorities on the correct procedures and emergency protocols,” Hontiveros said. /ee
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