Press Release
September 2, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on concerned government agencies to draw up disaster management plans and ensure the readiness of disaster risk areas in the wake of an earthquake that hit the eastern coast of the Philippines on Friday.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake damaged various infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and seaside homes. It also triggered tsunami warnings that led to the evacuation of around 130,000 people.

"Thankfully, casualties were at a minimum and the affected local government units acted swiftly," said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

"But we were also very lucky. Given our increasing vulnerability to natural disasters, we should not only enhance our ability to respond but also work on keeping people away from potential danger zones."

He then emphasized that lessons should be learned from previous catastrophes. "We must develop a comprehensive contingency plan which involves training on all levels of emergency management and response in order to prevent the loss of lives and property. But we must also start looking seriously into changing or even re-engineering the way we live so that we reduce the risks we face from natural disasters."

The veteran lawmaker also stressed the importance of uninterrupted telecommunications services in times of calamity to ensure real-time communication and better coordination among agencies.

"We enhance our abilities in managing disasters when we make sure that in the face of any disruption, our telecommunications services are resilient and quick to go back online," he said.

Angara, who is also chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), warned that the Philippines could suffer dire consequences if we fail to adopt radical approaches to disaster management.

"We need to be prepared for the worst that nature can throw at us. In hindsight, we can learn from the many mistakes when natural disasters ravaged the country and integrate these lessons with that of other countries then use the tools provided to us by Science and Technology (S&T) to be better prepared for future calamities," he stressed.

He continued, "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."

News Latest News Feed