Senator Koko Pimentel III again renewed his call for the creation of a separate “Department of Preparedness and Resiliency” that would address disaster management concerns, in light of the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday.
The lawmaker stressed the importance of “preparedness at the highest executive level, a full-time and dedicated bureaucracy for disaster management.”
“A department-level agency needs to examine and draw up plans on all aspects of disaster management, from rescue and relief, inspection of the structural integrity of buildings before and after calamities such as earthquakes and typhoons, as well as year-round training and education of specialists, rescuers and the general population. We always have to be prepared. The Philippines lies in the so-called ‘ring of fire’ of active volcanic and seismic activity, and we’re in the middle of a typhoon-prone region.”
“As I have stressed numerous times before, we cannot prevent natural calamities from happening, but we can prepare well.”
Pimentel first called for the creation of the new department after a 7.5 magnitude tremor hit Indonesia last September 2018, which resulted in the death of at least 800 people.
The reelectionist lawmaker commended the discipline of both citizens and responders during and after the earthquake, citing the generally orderly evacuation of crowded spaces and quick efforts to assist those injured by the temblor.
In the meantime, while a separate “Department of Preparedness and Resiliency” is under consideration, Pimentel called on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to closely coordinate with the Department of National Defense’s Office of Civil Defense, the DILG and DepEd to hold more nationwide drills, apart from the quarterly exercises, to better prepare citizens.
“Technology and social media played crucial roles in information dissemination during the earthquake. Posts and videos were uploaded in real time in Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Text messages were quickly sent by the NDRRMC advising people of the situation and reminding them to be alert. These factors should all be considered in a more refined, more responsive emergency plan.”
“Technology and social media played crucial roles in information dissemination during the earthquake.”
“As I have stressed numerous times before, we cannot prevent natural calamities from happening, but we can prepare well, especially considering the paramount need to prevent loss of life in any emergency situation” Pimentel emphasized.