Aquino orders thorough study of Mindanao devastation

December 7, 2012 11:18 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 7 — President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, the Dept. of Justice and the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the devastation caused by Typhoon Pablo to prevent further loss of lives in the future.

The President said during media interview at Davao International Airport that his aim is to minimize if not eliminate the large number casualties during calamities.

Typhoons arriving in the country is a yearly occurrence and the government must have an effective disaster plan to limit the effects of typhoons to the general population, he said.

“I’d like to get to the point na sigurado ang mga Pilipino na mabibigyan siya ng timely information, meron siyang malilikasan na lugar para mailayo sa panganib, at mabawasan, kung hindi tuluyang mawala, ang mga nawawalang Pilipino kada merong natural disaster,” the President said.

In New Bataan, Compostela Valley, for instance, the President said he observed during that the town has absorbed so much water. Although there was an evacuation supposedly to safer grounds, he said the residents were relocated to low-lying ground in the foot of mountains, making them vulnerable to flash floods.

The local government could have a better evacuation location and should chose an area on higher grounds, he said.

“We could have probably designed it na hindi ganoon ang evacuation center. But I want a concrete basis of what had happened and I want less and less dangers for the Filipinos,” he said.

In Boston, Davao Oriental, the President likened the town to an area that suffered from a nuclear attack because of the absence of remaining structures.

He proposed rebuilding the town, not exactly along the coast. Boston must be rebuilt behind the hills that will provide a natural barrier for any strong winds that might come in the future, he said.

Part of the DILG-DOJ-DENR study is geo-hazard mapping to assess which locations are vulnerable to flashfloods and landslides, the chief executive said.

There must be scientific basis in assessing future natural disturbances particularly the amount of rain falling in a particular locality, he said.

The President wants to know whether there are lapses in planning that resulted to large number of casualties in those areas.

He also asked government agencies to improve the process of disseminating understandable information to the public. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/SSC

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