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DILG pushes disaster mitigation

MANILA, Philippines -  An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said he would be pushing for measures to restructure the use of disaster and calamity funds by local government units to prioritize disaster prevention over disaster response.                                                 

At present, local government units allot 30 percent of their calamity funds to mitigation and 70 percent for relief operations.                                                                                    

“At least for this year or next year let’s reverse it, 70 percent mitigation and 30 percent relief,” Robredo said.

He said that by providing more funds on mitigation, the budget for relief and rescue operations in times of disasters will also be lessened.

Earlier, Robredo called on mayors in Metro Manila to identify areas sitting on fault lines and inform residents of the risks they face in the event of an earthquake.                       

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in its Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), said a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila would destroy 16,000 buildings and injure at least 150,000 people.

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The study said a quake of such magnitude would also trigger major fires in Manila, Pasig and Quezon City - areas considered high risk.

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