Post-disaster assessment needed to identify needs of Odette-hit areas: Lacson

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2021 05:38 PM

The aftermath of Typhoon Odette in the Municipality of Dapa in Siargao Island on December 20, 2021 days after the the typhoon wreaked havoc in parts of the Philippines. Val Cuenca, ABS-CBN News
The aftermath of Typhoon Odette in the Municipality of Dapa in Siargao Island on December 20, 2021 days after the the typhoon wreaked havoc in parts of the Philippines. Val Cuenca, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday urged disaster response agencies to release their post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) to fast track the government's response to the impact of Typhoon Odette, as he described the efforts as "disorganized."

In a statement, Lacson, a recovery czar for Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, said the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's (NDRRMC) PDNA would aid in identifying areas that need to be prioritized for relief efforts.

The findings can also guide President Rodrigo Duterte to streamline the assistance. 

"As it is happening now, efforts are disorganized and the interventions of politicians and presumptive candidates are not helping much," he noted. 

"It is imperative that the NDRRMC, through the OCD, expedite the submission of their initial PDNA in order to have an accurate data-driven information on the ground so the national government can prioritize relief, rehabilitation and recovery efforts and assistance to the hardest hit communities," he added.

Lacson said it is also important that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) call for the help of the international community. 

"For its part, the DFA should organize a meeting with the different ambassadors to appeal to the international community of nations for assistance just like what we did days after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda."

He said disaster response agencies should convene so Cabinet members "can mobilize the different agencies using their quick response funds."

This, as Duterte said that the government's funds have been depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In calamities like this, putting somebody overall in charge is the best and right thing to do. Also, the NDRRMC will need to convene ASAP," said Lacson.

Several countries, including Japan, China, the United States, France and the EU have committed to provide help to the Philippines.

China pledged some P50 million while France committed at least P14 billion. 

Odette entered the Philippine area of responsibility last Tuesday, and made multiple landfalls two days later from Siargao Island in Surigao Del Norte until Roxas, Palawan. It exited the PAR on Saturday noon.

The typhoon left at least 177 dead, 38 missing, and 275 injured, according to government tally as of Wednesday. The national police had a higher tally of 375 deaths, 500 injured, and 56 missing, as of Monday.

Duterte has placed six regions under a state of calamity: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central VIsayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.

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