Palace says 1456 alert system in place

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 28 2011 07:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2011 03:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The government's 1456 emergency alert system was used to warn Bulacan residents of rising flood waters caused by typhoon Pedring in September, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said Wednesday.

In a press statement, Coloma said the government has an agreement with telecommunications companies for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to send text alert messages to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that will, in turn, pass on the directive to the telcos.

The Philippine Information Agency composed the Bulacan warning message and passed this on to Undersecretary Benito Ramos, NDRRMC executive director.

Coloma issued the statement following a report that the text alert system has not been used.

He said the alert system was not used to warn residents of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities because when typhoon Sendong struck last December 16, these areas were under typhoon signal number one and below the threshold alert level of signal number 3.

He said that in the Cabinet meeting held last December 19, the President and members of the Cabinet agreed to set up a dual-alert system that will include both a typhoon signal and a rainfall-flood alert.

DOST-PAGASA has been authorized to buy monitoring equipment to track water levels in the country's 18 river basins all throughout the year.