MANILA — The Philippines intends to implement more disaster resilience initiatives in a bid to achieve zero casualty in the next typhoons and other disasters, a Palace official said on Thursday.
Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma bared this strategy amidst the reported at least 10 casualties from typhoon “Glenda.”
“Yung mga bilang ng casualties ay napanatili sa mababang numero, at marami ring mga nag-report na sa maraming munisipalidad ay naka-attain talaga sila ng zero casualties kaya’t ito ang ating nakalap na mga ulat. We continue to learn from the experience and prepare even harder and better for the next storm,” he said in a press briefing.
In the aspect of disaster resiliency, Coloma said the country can explore the possibility of establishing more power lines buried underground.
“Yung sa nawawalan ng kuryente dahil nasira sa bagyo. Siguro mas advanced na rin ito. Kung pwedeng ilagay na sa ilalim ng lupa ‘yung mga kawad para hindi na ganoon katindi ‘yung pinsala,” he said.
The PCOO chief also underscored the need to build more typhoon-resistant structures in the country.
Moreover, Coloma cited the disaster preparedness measures undertaken to minimize the casualties from typhoon “Glenda”.
“Kaya’t makikita natin na sa aspeto ng kahandaan, marami na ring mga pagbabago at pagpapahusay ng mga sistema na naisagawa simula noong ‘Yolanda,’ at nakita nga rito ‘yung mas mataas na antas na kahandaan ng mga pamahalaang lokal sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa kanilang mga komunidad,” he said.
Coloma cited as an example of best practice in disaster preparedness the one undertaken by Albay. More than 24 hours before the expected landfall in Bicol, Governor Joey Salceda reported that more 150,000 residents had been evacuated from the danger zones.
“This was way ahead of the normative time for bringing them to safety,” he noted.
Coloma said there was sufficient preparation undertaken by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) for ‘Glenda’, the first major storm after ‘Yolanda’.
”Another important facet is the very accurate forecast of DOST-PAGASA (Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) and Project NOAH, which is now being widely disseminated through the social media platforms on a very real-time basis,” he added.