Local governments have learned a lot from Typhoon ‘Yolanda’, says Palace official

By on December 4, 2014


Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. (Photo: Eoghan Rice - Trócaire / Caritas; Wikipedia)
Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. (Photo: Eoghan Rice – Trócaire / Caritas; Wikipedia)

MANILA — Local government units (LGUs) have learned to follow the safety guidelines set by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) following the onslaught of Typhoon “Yolanda” last year, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

Now that the country is facing another strong storm, to be called Typhoon “Ruby” once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility, LGUs are expected to prepare and coordinate with national agencies to minimize damage and avoid casualties, said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda during the daily press briefing.

The administration’s goal, he said, is to ensure zero casualty during typhoons and other calamities.

“All efforts are made…, at least to seek a zero casualty. Para ‘yung attitude ng mga government officials, attitude ng citizens also, is to ensure the safety of each individual,” he noted.

“If we always have an aspirational goal of zero casualty, then the attitude of the government and the ordinary citizens would be in a manner that would make sure that we are kept safe or we ourselves make the initiative to keep ourselves safe from the calamities,” he added.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are among the government agencies that are at the forefront whenever there are natural calamities.

Lacierda further assured that the government has enough standby funds to address such contingency.

The DSWD has funds for families affected by Typhoon “Yolanda” last year, as well as allocations for future storms that could affect the country, he said.

The NDRRMC has done a pre-disaster readiness assessment report and it will be submitted to the President, he said.

On the possible storm surges that could affect coastal areas, Lacierda said they will let the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) gives more accurate predictions on storm surges.

He said the government wants proper information to be disseminated to the public to avoid panic and mass hysteria.