Press Release
November 1, 2009

With more unpredictable weather in RP

While storm Santi is expected to leave the country on Sunday afternoon, Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on PAGASA to release frequent weather reports and post bulletins to provide the public with reliable information, especially in the advent of increased unpredictability of weather patterns in the country.

"Experts say the unusually huge rainfall brought by the recent typhoons is just the start of a pattern of frequent weather disturbances. Unusual weather is no longer the exception - it is now the norm. We have to remain on our toes for any change in the weather," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

Angara is working with PAGASA to set up a disaster management training center in the country which will gather experts and strengthen the country's capacity to predict and mitigate natural disasters.

He added, "What we ought to learn from this experience is that we need to put in place a more efficient disaster prediction and response system. We can prevent severe loss of life and property if we are better prepared. This could spell the difference between a simple weather disturbance and a catastrophic environmental and human disaster." PAGASA reported that while recent storm Santi is forecasted to be 670 kilometers west northwest of Metro Manila by Sunday afternoon and is expected to leave the Philippines' area of responsibility by 2:00 pm on Sunday, they are expecting two or more storms to enter the Philippines' area of responsibility this year and may or may not hit the country directly. The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported as of 8am today that typhoon "Santi" (international code name Mirinae) had left 14 people dead, 4 injured, and 4 missing in the southern Tagalog and Bicol regions. Angara added that aside from frequent weather reports, there is a need for an improved system for releasing water from dams and avoiding abrupt, unwarned release of water from dams to prevent severe flooding.

"I have asked the Department of Science and Technology to gather its experts, scientists and engineers, to come up with a study that will prepare the country with calamities like this and so that our countrymen will have a better fighting chance the next time another Ondoy comes again," said Angara.

"Like I said before, this is just a sample of things to come. We should create a coping mechanism and learn from best practices abroad to see what can we adopt in the Philippines. So next time our country faces these kinds of bizarre weather events, which we expect to happen in the coming years due to climate change, we are better prepared and equipped," said Angara.

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