Roxas challenges Negros Oriental to prepare for next year’s typhoon season

December 7, 2012 11:18 pm 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Dec. 7 – Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has challenged government officials and other line agencies in Negros Oriental to prepare for the next typhoon season even as he lauded pre-disaster efforts in the province that resulted in minimal damage following the onslaught of super typhoon Pablo this week.

Roxas made a quick visit to Negros Oriental and held a briefing with local officials and various government agencies at the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial headquarters in Sibulan town before he attended an “exclusive” gathering of members of the Liberal Party at a hotel in Dumaguete City.

The DILG secretary, however, stressed that the mitigation measures undertaken by government officials and agencies and the private sector in minimizing the impact of “Pablo” comprised only half of the success as the other 50 percent he attributed to natural and divine intervention.

By natural intervention he apparently was referring to the slowing down of the super typhoon as it approached Negros Oriental and even the sudden diversion of its path from its original track and also acknowledged the prayers and other acts of the faithful to spare the province from another disaster.

As of latest report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), only two deaths were reported from Tanjay City in central Negros Oriental.

Roxas gave at least four tips for local government units and line agencies in disaster preparedness and response.

These include giving an honest-to-goodness assessment and evaluation of the disaster preparedness plan, namely, what went right or worked out, what went wrong or did not happen according to planned, a “wish” list of things that should have been done ahead of the storm, and the positive attitude or will to improve on a better program for the next typhoon season.

While the province was “relatively unscathed” by super typhoon Pablo, there is still so much to do to improve on disaster preparedness in the province, Sec. Roxas said.

The DILG secretary ended the briefing without any pledge or concrete and specific assurances of assistance to typhoon victims but only said the natural processes will take place. (PNA)

LAP/JFP

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