'Lawin' text warnings were sent, disaster agency maintains


Posted at Oct 22 2016 07:36 PM

'Lawin' text warnings were sent, disaster agency maintains 1

MANILA - Warnings were sent to mobile phone subscribers ahead of Super Typhoon "Lawin" (international name: Haima), the disaster monitoring agency said Saturday, contrary to some reports.

The alerts were sent to mobile subscribers in areas under storm signals 3 to 5, the highest warning under the weather bureau's five-step scale, said Romina Marasigan, spokeswoman for the Office of Civil Defense.

Senator Grace Poe and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlo Isagani Zarate said they have received reports that text alerts were not sent out to warn the public over the storm, the strongest to hit the country this year.

Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) told DZMM he could not confirm whether the NDRRMC sent out alerts, as required by law.

The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, mandates telecommunications companies to send out free alerts at intervals to subscribers "in the event of an impending tropical storm, typhoon, tsunami, or other calamities."

The law's implementing rules require the NDRRMC to send a warning to telecommunications companies for dissemination to subscribers, Cabarios said.

The NTC will then monitor if the messages were sent.

Marasigan said warnings will be sent only to those who are located on the storm's path.