Thursday, December 17, 2009

Due to imminent eruption of Mt. Mayon Volcano: Government should look disaster mitigation, evacuation says Guingona

CAGAYAN Journal (Ben Balce / Dec 17) - Bukidnon Representative Teofisto “TG” Guingona III said authorities and experts should look to the disaster mitigation and evacuation being presently undertaken in Albay Province due to the imminent eruption of the Mayon Volcano to learn valuable lessons in Disaster Risk and Reduction Management.

The Solon has managed to have the DRRM Bill approved in the Congress on December 8 this year. The bill only needs to be approved in the Bicameral Committee which the Solon said should not face any rough sailing since the Upper House has already approved it own version of the bill.

“The recent events brought about by the rumblings of the Mayon Volcano should provide lessons that have to be learned if we are to make the implementation of the DRRM Bill work effectively,” Guingona said.

Disaster mitigation officials here have started evacuating close to 10,000 families residing within a radius of six to eight kilometers from the crater of Mayon Volcano after it spewed lava which flowed half a kilometer down-slope upon the order of the governor of Albay.

Government vehicles, mostly trucks from the Philippine Army, have already been dispatched, and some of them had already started loading evacuees from designated pickup points located in village centers.

Cong. Guingona III said the province of Albay has probably the best disaster mitigation, response and rehabilitation program in the country today. Following the disastrous effects of natural disasters in the country, including Typhoon Frank which devastated the Bicol Region, steps have been taken to improve the province’s disaster response system.

“With the DRRM in place, the national and local governments’ response to disaster should focus on mitigation rather than responding after the calamity has struck. We all know the cost to life and property if the country is once again caught flat-footed once disasters strike anew,” Guingona said.

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