Palace says government now more prepared in handling calamities

October 7, 2011 9:41 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 7 — Malacanang made an assurance Friday that it can effectively handle any possible crisis an incoming typhoon could cause, as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported the presence of a low pressure area in eastern Visayas.

PAGASA warned of more flashfloods and landslides as a result of more rains because of a low pressure area that could likely turn into a new typhoon.

“That’s the reason why we have Secretary (Rogelio) Singson there, he will try to rationalize everything in case of flashfloods, and in case of releases of water from the dams. That’s something that he will work on with the National Water Resources Board,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a media briefing at the Palace on Friday.

At the same time, Lacierda said the government has an accurate forecasting system in place, enabling it to anticipate typhoons and effectively preposition important goods intended for affected communities.

“We have been successful as far as prepositioning relief goods is concerned,” he said, referring to the government experience in handling the devastations brought about by typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel" in Central Luzon.

Also during the same media briefing, Lacierda issued a warning against the use of floodwater for drinking and cooking by affected communities in Luzon.

“We are concerned with the use of floodwater for drinking water. Floodwater is not potable, so we ask the public…(particularly) the residents of Central Luzon not to use floodwater for consumption,” he said.

Lacierda also said this is the reason why the President had designated Secretary Singson to become the country’s water czar, to make sure that before the end of the President’s term, the country will have potable water supply for all affected communities.

As of Friday afternoon, PAGASA said the low pressure area was seen 420 kilometers east of Visayas, embedded along the inter-tropical convergence zone affecting the Visayas and Mindanao.

The weather bureau said the low pressure area will bring cloudy skies and scattered rain showers to the Bicol region, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Light to moderate winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon, coming from the northwest to southwest, over the rest of the country, Pagasa said. (PNA)

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