Press Release
July 27, 2017

Grace Poe on disaster risk alerts

As tropical storm 'Gorio' batters Metro Manila, we want to find out if the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the telecommunication companies are complying with the law in sending free mobile alerts to the people.

Several reports have reached us that mobile subscribers have not received any alert about the storm since yesterday.

Disasters need not be of epic proportions before the NDRRMC and the telcos make their move and alert the people. The law was primarily crafted as a preventive measure, so that the public can prepare and to avoid casualties.

Republic Act 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act mandates telcos in the country to send free mobile alerts to subscribers before disasters like typhoons happen.

The information for mobile alerts is supposed to come from government agencies such as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and state weather bureau PAGASA. These will then be monitored by the NDRRMC.

The NDRRMC, with its equipment and experts, should be able to determine the situation on the ground. At first instance, the NDRRMC should be able to draft a clear alert that the telcos will blast to their subscribers.

These alerts should be taken seriously. Many rely on them to determine their course of action during disasters. Disaster alerts can save lives.

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