Press Release
January 6, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized the need for an improved disaster preparedness and management program, following the rising number of typhoon-related casualties in several provinces hit by intense rain and floods in provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

As of Wednesday night, the death toll was pegged at 25--from seven different provinces in the country's eastern seaboard which had experienced heavy rains in the past week. 5 areas from CARAGA and Region 5 were also placed under a state of calamity due to the floods and landslides.

Angara, head of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) flagged the development of a disaster science center in the Philippines as one of the priority projects of the government.

"We should take this unfortunate event as a wake-up call--now we really see how important it is to prepare for the multiple calamities that strike the nation each year. The creation of a center focused on disaster science, from forecasting to recovery, should be targeted as soon as possible," said Angara.

According to Angara, P100M of the 2011 national budget is already allocated to the building of the Philippine Disaster Science Center (PDSC) and a sub-agency, the Disaster Science Management Center, which will also provide training to local governments and private institutions for disaster response and management.

"A scientific approach is vital in analyzing the nature of these disasters--extensive research and development is needed to improve our knowledge in disaster science. We should strive to keep up with and learn from other countries with more expertise in this field," Angara said.

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