Ex-Navy chief assumes NDRRMC post
Alexis Romero (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - May 12, 2014 - 6:26pm

MANILA, Philippines - Former Navy chief Alexander Pama on Monday vowed to improve the country’s disaster response measures as he assumed his new role as executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In a press conference, Pama said he would work closely with all agencies and sectors to address gaps, enhance existing systems, and continue the rehabilitation of areas affected by disasters.

“The only thing that I am looking at right now, based on what was briefed to me, is to exert effort to strengthen whatever our strengths are,” Pama said.

“Whatever the gaps and shortcomings, we will focus on them and hopefully correct and improve them.”

Pama said his new position is “a challenging job that requires everybody’s cooperation.”

He said the NDRRMC is now preparing for the possible impact of the El Nino phenomenon, which is seen to affect farmlands and water supply in the country.

“We are already conducting interagency coordination for the preparations to mitigate the effects of El Nino,” Pama said.

“There are already discussions of preparations regarding that. We are not unaware of the things that need to be done,” he added.

Pama succeeded another retired general, Eduardo del Rosario, who resigned from the post last month.

Del Rosario admitted that he quit due to pressures that came with the job.

“It was so stressing from starting January, during the first quarter, there is flooding in Mindanao. In March, we had a devastating typhoon. next was the southwest monsoon in July and August that lasted until December,” he said.

“It was too stressing. Eventually, I saw the situation this year. I felt it's time for me to go. Anyway, we had made so many progress,” he added.

Del Rosario, however, said he has no regrets and that he is thankful to the president for his trust.

Del Rosario, who was NDRRMC executive director when typhoon “Yolanda” hit the country, said it’s time for him to enjoy his retirement.

When asked what his advice to Pama is, del Rosario said: “Overcome the challenges, and of course focus on the job.”

“If you are not 24/7 here, you will be left out by the changing situations. But with Admiral Pama, I know that the OCD (Office of Civil Defense) is in good hands," he added.

Prior to Pama’s appointment as NDRRMC executive director, he was an undersecretary at the Office of the Executive Secretary.

A member of Philippine Military Academy class ’79, Pama was named the Navy Flag Officer-in-Command in 2011.

Other posts he handled include Navy Vice Commander, the second highest officer in the major service, Navy Inspector-General, and Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief.

ADMIRAL PAMA ALEXANDER PAMA DEL ROSARIO EL NINO FORMER NAVY IN MARCH JULY AND AUGUST NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NAVAL FORCES WESTERN MINDANAO PAMA
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