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Managing Disaster in Philippines
« on: April 23, 2019, 02:58:35 PM »
MANILA – Some senators on Tuesday called for more mitigation and preparedness measures in the wake of a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit Metro Manila and parts of Luzon.

Senator Sonny Angara pushed for the passage of a bill creating a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) that would respond to the “new normal” of national disasters and climate change.

“This strong earthquake reminds us of the urgency to create a single, independent and permanent agency devoted to disaster management and resilience,” Angara said.

“This new department will oversee a comprehensive and coordinated strategy in managing natural disasters with the main goal of saving lives and minimizing damage to property,” he added.

He said the proposed Disaster Resilience Act under Senate Bill 1994 would provide a “whole of government, whole of nation approach” to disasters and emergency situations.

“What we want to ensure is a seamless synergy among government agencies and stakeholders from national down to the grassroots levels to effectively respond to disasters,” he said.

Angara said the DDR shall be the principal government institution responsible for ensuring safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient community.

Senate President pro tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, said building standards should be improved to withstand stronger earthquakes, considering that the country is situated within the ring of fire.

Recto also urged the Department of Public Works and Highways and other relevant government agencies to inspect and assess transport infrastructures to ensure the safety of passengers.

¨Furthermore, (we should) adopt appropriate measures to prepare our people for the big one. Better to be prepared," Recto added.

On the other hand, Senate President Vicente Sotto III particularly noted that the damage dealt by the quake at the Clark International Airport only emphasizes the need to build a new airport there.

The Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) has ordered a 24-hour shutdown of the Clark International Airport effective 7:40 p.m. Monday after the earthquake caused the suspension of local and international flights.

Seven persons sustained minor injuries when a part of the ceiling at the check-in lobby collapsed and were immediately brought for treatment at a nearby hospital, CIAC president Jaime Melo said.

The earthquake caused no damage to the airport's runway and taxiway, the CIAC crisis team reported. (PNA)

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