Poe reminds NDRRMC, telcos: Be prompt in sending SMS disaster alerts to public
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Grace Poe wants to ensure that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and telecommunications companies (telcos) are complying with the law on sending free mobile alerts to the public.
The senator, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement on Thursday: “These alerts should be taken seriously. Many rely on them to determine their course of action during disasters.”
“Disaster alerts can save lives,” she added.
Poe issued the statement after receiving reports that mobile subscribers have not been receiving any alerts related to tropical storm “Gorio” since Wednesday.
“Gorio,” which was moving north northwest at 13 kilometers per hour, may intensify into a severe tropical storm in the next 24 to 36 hours, according to Pagasa’s bulletin issued at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
Poe said that “disasters need not be of epic proportions” for the NDRRMC and telcos to alert the public.
“The law was primarily crafted as a preventive measure, so that the public can prepare and to avoid casualties,” she added.
The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act mandates telcos around the country to send free mobile alerts before typhoons happen.
According to Poe, information disseminated through mobile alerts coming from government agencies such as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and state weather bureau Pagasa are monitored by the NDRRMC.
She said that with the disaster risk council’s equipment and experts, they would be able to determine the situation on the ground, and at first instance “should be able to draft a clear alert that the telcos will blast to their subscribers.” Christia Marie Ramos, Inquirer Volunteer Corps
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