Press Release
October 17, 2010


As the nation is threatened by the powerful typhoon Megi, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the establishment of the Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) should be a national priority in order to better prepare the nation for the dealing with similar disasters.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), typhoon Megi (codenamed Juan locally) is still strengthening and could bring rains like Ondoy and winds like Basyang.

"We need the DSMC to help us prepare for the typhoons and similar disasters that will continue to threaten the country. The government needs to be able to understand how to develop an advanced and real-time information dissemination strategy so people can better prepare to handle such events," noted Angara.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted that the DSMC is envisioned to become a regional hub for disaster science where our scientists can help prepare officials and LGU's to handle natural calamities.

COMSTE has prioritized the creation of the DSMC and is working with the Manila Observatory (MO) to finalize proposals for its foundation.

The center is set to become a training center that will focus on scenario-type learning utilizing technology for disaster mitigation and management. Taiwan and Japan are already actively cooperating with training of local experts.

The DSMC is set to be a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

Angara said that, "we need to adopt a pro-active approach in order to properly address this problem. A scientific approach supported by extensive research has already led me to appropriate PHP 100M from the budget for the establishment of a Philippine Disaster Science Center, roughly PHP40M of which is allocated for a proposed Disaster Science Management Center."

Angara pointed out that a joint study by Columbia University and the World Bank entitled 'Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis', which identifies countries which are at high risk for six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones, has the Philippines pegged as one of riskiest countries in the world.

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