SMX Convention Center
12 July 2012
President Benigno S. Aquino III said that the Philippines is well-prepared to face natural calamities during the Tapatan Roadshow on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
With the theme, “Magtapatan Tayo: Handa na ba Kayo?,” President Aquino said that the government is strengthening the disaster preparedness of the country most especially in the local levels.
“Mula po Abril ng taong ito, 92 percent na sa ating mga LGUs ang may area-wide warning and alarm systems, 86 percent ang mayroon nang nakatalagang sariling evacuation center, samantalang 78 percent naman ang may emergency response, rescue, at medical teams,” the President reported. He also mentioned that the local disaster risk reduction management plan is set for implementation.
The President stated that the government has alloted at least P500,000 in each field office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This will serve as a standby fund that can be used in immediate disaster operations response.
Furthermore, the Chief Executive laid down other disaster response initiatives of the Aquino administration like the implementation of Executive Order 66 where in the absence of typhoon signal warnings, localized cancellation or suspension of classes and work in government offices may be implemented by local chief executives. He also promoted the newly-launched Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, which targets to install 600 automated rain gauges and 400 water level measuring stations in 18 major river basins in the country by 2013.
He stressed the crucial role of local government units in firsthand disaster response and their contribution in successful calamity rescue operations. He said, “Ang simple po nating formula laban sa kalamidad: masusing ugnayan at kapit-bisig na pagtutulungan ng lokal at pambansang pamahalaan; ito po ang diwa ng ating pagtatapatan.”
Tapatan Roadshow is a caravan that aims to inform and engage the public, local government units and different stakeholders to be disaster-prepared. Created based on R.A. 10121 or Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the Tapatan objectives include awareness, knowledge or understanding, acceptance and participation in disaster risk reduction and management. It is organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government and supported by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology and all LGUs.
* * *