Aquino orders thorough study of Mindanao devastation

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012. Filed under: Environment Philippine News

President Benigno S. Aquino III distributes food packs to families displaced by flash floods and landslides spawned by Typhoon Pablo, the strongest storm to hit Mindanao in two decades, at the evacuation center in Don Lorenzo Sarmiento Sports Complex in Barangay Cabinuan, New Bataan, Compostela Valley in Region XI.on Friday (December 7. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 8 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 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 flashfloods.

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.(MNS)

President Benigno S. Aquino III, aboard a presidential chopper on Friday (December 7)conducts an aerial inspection of the damage in Region XI , devastation by flash floods, landslides and strong winds brought by Typhoon Pablo, the strongest storm to hit Mindanao in two decades. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III distributes P10,000 checks financial assistance to each family of casualties of Typhoon Pablo at the evacuation center in Don Lorenzo Sarmiento Sports Complex in Barangay Cabinuan, New Bataan, Compostela Valley in Region XI on Friday (December 7). Assisting the Chief Executive is Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman. (MNS photo)

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