Loren wants 'early warning systems' for disasters

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2012 06:16 PM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 02:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Loren Legarda on Wednesday called for more preparation at the community level to prevent the recurrence of disaster caused by Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

In a privilege speech on the Senate floor, Legarda cited lessons from previous typhoons which to her mind were not fully implemented in the case of provinces in Pablo's path.

"Para sa bawat lokal na pamahalaan, mahalaga na magkaroon ng maagap na sistema na magbababala sa mga mamamayan, ang mga tinatawag na early warning systems. Makakatulong ito na masabihan ang mga tao na lumikas dahil sa nakaambang panganib na dulot ng isang bagyo, lindol, o tsunami,” she said.

Legarda also called for the cleaning of community waterways like esteros to make sure floodwaters have unhampered drainage as well as the need for local government units (LGU) to know where to build communities.

"Our LGUs must know where it is safe to let their constituents reside, where it is appropriate to build infrastructure, and where it should be off-limits to people and structures,” she said.

Legarda added that Typhoon Pablo unveiled the vulnerability of Mindanao communities to typhoons, landslides and flash floods.

“Our local leaders, therefore, need to appreciate how disasters are linked inextricably to the vicious cycle of poverty, socio-economic inequality, and environmental degradation,” she said.

Legarda also wants barangay officials to be involved in planning geohazard maps.