Press Release
August 9, 2010


In view of the report ranking the Philippines as the most disaster-prone country in 2009, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. pushed for additional measures which include the use of the Motor Vehicle Users' Charge (MVUC) to address the effects of calamities

He cited the report of the Center for Research and Epidemiology Disasters (CRED) that bared the Philippines as the most disaster-hit country last year with 24 calamities recorded, followed by China with 16.

The senator expressed confidence that the recently-passed Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 0f 2010 (Republic Act 10121 )will lessen the number of casualties and damage to properties brought by calamities and disasters. "It is only proper that we institutionalize disaster management in the country down to the barangay level. Effective implementation of RA 10121will result to a more expeditious and coordinated response to calamities and disasters," Bong Revilla said.

However, he stressed that even after the enactment of RA 10121, the government should continue finding other ways to mitigate the damaging effects of disasters. "We must accept the fact that calamities and disasters are regular occurrences in our country. Earthquakes occur every now and then. We experience an average of twenty two typhoons per year, with at least five destructive ones," he explained.

In view of this, the lawmaker filed Senate Bill No. 29 which seeks to amend RA 8794, the law regarding the imposition of MVUC. Under the bill, seventy percent (70%) of the Special Road Support Fund, which is being allotted from the 80% of the MVUC, shall be used exclusively for the maintenance and improvement of drainage as well as for the clearing operations and restorations of damages caused by natural calamities. At present, the said 70 percent is being allotted only for the maintenance and improvement of national primary roads.

"Preparedness in times of natural calamities is a major concern not only before or during its onslaught. We must also intensify the government's ability to respond in the restoration and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructures so that we can expedite our recovery from calamities," Bong Revilla pointed out.

Based on the CRED report, the disasters that often hit the country are often classified as geophysical, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; hydrological, like floods and landslides; meteorological, like typhoons; climatological, like El Niño; and biological, like animal infestation and epidemics. It said that 14 out of the 24 disasters that hit the country last year were classified as meteorological, 9 were hydrological, and 2 were geophysical.

The report also said that three strong typhoons - "Kiko," "Ondoy," and "Pepeng" - which badly hit the country particularly the Northern Luzon area made it to the top 10 most important disasters in terms of mortality and damage to property. Eleven million Filipinos in almost all parts of the country were badly affected by the said typhoons that greatly contributed to the depletion of the country's meager calamity fund.

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