PNoy wants zero casualty in 'Yolanda' onslaught

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2013 04:13 PM | Updated as of Nov 07 2013 12:13 AM

Palace tells Pinoys: Prepare early

MANILA - President Aquino has instructed Defense Secretary and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) chair Voltaire Gazmin to direct all local disaster risk reduction and management councils to prepare for the onslaught of super typhoon "Yolanda."

"Habang hinihintay ang pagpasok ng super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ sa Philippine Area of Responsibility na tinatayang magaganap bukas, Huwebes, ika-pito ng Nobyembre, alas-dos ng umaga, inatasan ng Pangulo si Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, tagapangulo ng National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), na pakilusin na ang lahat ng provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction and management councils para makapaghanda ang mga mamamayan at maka-iwas sa panganib," Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.

Coloma also asked for media's help in disseminating weather information as the government aims for "zero casualty."

He said Aquino will be "hands-on" in supervising disaster and relief response.

"Talaga pong tinututukan niya nang personal ang lahat ng mga [pangyayari] dahil nga po doon sa kanyang batayang prinsipyo na sa ganitong mga kalamidad dapat ay zero casualty ang ating objective. Mahalaga po ang buhay ng bawat mamamayan. Hindi po ito dapat na mapariwara dahil po sa kakulangan ng preparasyon," he said.

Coloma asked the public to take the necessary precautions, pointing out the wide scope of the typhoon which could virtually affect the entire archipelago with the possible exception of the northernmost and southernmost tips of the Philippines.

Coloma said all concerned government agencies are now on heightened alert "to ensure swift response to affected residents, especially those in low-lying and flood prone areas."

He added that rescue boats and emergency relief and medical supplies have been prepositioned in key areas.