Aquino underscores gov’t initiative in pushing programs that will protect and save lives

April 9, 2011 2:01 am 

ROSALES, Pangasinan, April 8 — President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the government’s strengthened initiatives in pushing for programs that will protect and save not only lives of the Filipino people but also their properties and livelihood.

In keynoting the inauguration of the Improved Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) and the New Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) at the Agno Flood Control Compound, Barangay Tumana here, the President noted the importance of access to information and preparedness, especially in times of distress as experienced by the Filipino people in the past, adding this could also save time and funding that could be allotted to other possible problems that calamities may cause.

“Ang kaligtasan ay nagsisimula sa tamang kaalaman at sa puspusang kahandaan. Kapag may tamang kaalaman, mas mababatid natin kung paano haharapin ang paparating na kalamidad,” the President said, adding that “sa pagiging handa, binabawasan natin ang bantang peligro…Hindi na po natin hihintayin pang may nagdurusa bago tayo kumilos.”

The Chief Executive assured that the government is exerting necessary efforts to secure the lives of every Filipino as well as protecting its mandate to effect progress to the nation.

“Ang pinagtatagumpayan natin ngayon — ang pagpapasinaya sa pinaunlad na Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning System at ang bagong Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center — ay mga patunay at matitibay na halimbawa sa matatag nating paninindigan na pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng taumbayan,” President Aquino said.

The President said that the opening of the new flood monitoring facility is a victory for the Filipinos who will benefit from the said project.

The Chief Executive also expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for assisting such project. He said that the inauguration of the project is timely in celebration of the 55 years of cooperation between the Philippines and Japan and the 43rd Anniversary of Japan’s technical assistance for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“Let me take this opportunity to thank the Japanese Government for their enduring partnership with our country. More than a neighbor, you are a brother to the Filipinos…I thank you in behalf of every Filipino,” the President said.

Upon his arrival, the President was welcomed by key local government officials led by Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Rosales Mayor Ricardo Revita.

Also in attendance were Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura, Norio Matsuda of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo and PAGASA acting Administrator Dr. Nathaniel Servando.

The Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning System was established under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Government of Japan in 1983. Equipped with a network of eight rainfall and seven water level gauging stations, the Agno River FFWS was instrumental in mitigating the loss of lives and damage to properties in the flood plains of the provinces of Pangasinan and Tarlac through the issuance of flood bulletins and advisories.

In 2007, the improvement of FFWS in Pampanga and Agno River basins was among the first three projects to be implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Phase 1 of the project covers the Pampanga River FFWS which was completed in March of 2009 while the Phase 2 covering the Agno River FFWS commenced in April 2010 and was completed in March of this year. (PNA)

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