Press Release
January 16, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized the need to develop a Disaster Management Training Center (DMTC) and push for an effective emergency medicine capability as we face the havoc of natural and man-made disasters.

"What we ought to learn from the these disasters; recent earthquake, Ondoy, and Pepeng experience is that we need to put in place a better disaster prediction and response system," said Angara who concurrently chairs Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) and the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

Angara proposed a disaster management training center that will assist national agencies to lead recovery and rehabilitation in the wake of calamities by developing plans and programs aimed at reducing social, environmental and institutional vulnerabilities.

Further, the Senator said that emergency medicine can save an entire community if practiced effectively and efficiently. "Emergency medicine is the first response to medical disasters, providing urgently-needed medical attention to patients with acute illnesses or injuries. The effective and efficient practice of emergency medicine can save entire communities. The number of lives we save is directly proportional to how ready and well-trained our emergency medicine practitioners are to handle disasters of any scale."

In 2008, there were 39,061 clinically active emergency physicians in the US, of which 57% were emergency medicine board certified and 69% were emergency medicine trained or emergency medicine board certified. Nearly all (98%) of their emergency physicians who graduated within the past 5 years were emergency medicine trained or emergency medicine board certified.

In the Philippines only 23 are certified emergency physicians from which only 17 are full-time emergency practitioners.

Meanwhile, Angara has sought the assistance of Hyogo Prefecture that dealt with the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake for the establishment of said disaster management training center. It will operate as a model in capacity building and institutional development of local officials, policy makers, professionals and academic organizations and individuals in a multidisciplinary approach to Disaster Risk Management (DRM).

Further, Angara stressed that the country must make strides in developing a high overall level of preparedness and response system. He said this requires the help of experts and practitioners who can develop partnerships with local governments and providing necessary training and planning.

"The prevention of any threat to the well-being of the public is a continuing challenge. As a nation, we need to be ready to respond immediately and swiftly if and when any individual's life is in danger," said Angara.

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