Danger of redundancy

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - November 4, 2020 - 12:00am

Metro Manila was spared from the howling winds and rain of typhoon Rolly, the strongest typhoon in the world for this year. Based on the initial forecasts, Pagasa warned that it could pass close to Metro Manila so it promptly issued warnings about strong winds and flooding. Because of the experience of Metro Manila during typhoon Ondoy, it seems most people have become learned to be more careful.

But when the typhoon hit the country, it made landfall several times causing it to change course and veer away from Metro Manila. Instead, the province of Batangas found itself straight into Rolly's path. The storm is well into the South China Sea but the damage left was catastrophic. The estimated damage to agriculture is over one billion pesos. Public infrastructure damage is estimated to be six billion pesos. The Bicol region is once again reeling from the effects of yet another devastating typhoon. Sixteen were recorded dead while three remain missing.

The relevant agencies were immediately ordered to begin the resumption of services such as telecommunications, the return of water and electricity, and cleaning of roads. Aid should also be given to those forced to evacuate from dangerous areas. They need food, water, and clothing. Typhoon Siony is still hovering over the Pacific Ocean but may gain strength and change course. Who really knows what these weather disturbances will eventually do? The damage caused by typhoons Quinta and Rolly has been extensive. The people do not need additional burdens at this time.

Today the country is still far from being fully prepared against typhoons. One wonders if strong typhoons frequently hit the country, why does it seem to be lacking in preparation? Even the massive flooding has not been resolved despite the huge budget of the DPWH under any administration. Shouldn't the DPWH focus on this to fully address the flood problem? I'm all for more roads but what good are flooded roads? Let me just sound off on calls for the creation of another department to solely deal with disasters. I believe the government already has adequate agencies to deal with disasters. There is no need for an additional agency. What is needed is coordination in the dissemination of information, preparedness, proper disbursement of funds, and aid. Isn't there a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for that? Does the government still have the money at a time of a pandemic, to create a new agency which may only become redundant?

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