Press Release
March 17, 2011


Amidst growing concern over the country's ability to face large-scale natural disasters, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that prevention and disaster preparedness should be proactive instead of reactionary, and called on government to make it top priority.

"The Philippines experiences large-scale calamities almost every year--and reactionary measures will not stem the damage. It's about time that we begin establishing a pro-active and comprehensive disaster preparedness system so that we are not caught off-guard," he urged.

As early as March 2010, Angara led the convening of national leaders, local governments, financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations to discuss adaptation and risk reduction scenarios in the sectors of food and agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and coastal areas.

Entitled "ENGINEERING RESILIENCE: Confronting Risk Beyond Adaptation", the conference was organized by the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) with the goal of bringing disaster science to the fore.


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is undergoing a nationwide inspection of houses, buildings, roads and bridges to assess their structural integrity. These structures are also being checked to withstand high-magnitude earthquakes.

Angara, head of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said that the buildings and bridges that did not meet national building standards should be fixed as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of collapse.

"Now that we know about these high-risk structures, we must push for the immediate rehabilitation or renovation of these to avoid damage and casualties should a similar disaster hit the country," he advised.

According to COMSTE data, Metro Manila as a whole ranks as a high-risk area for floods and earthquakes because of the extremely dense population and haphazardly-built homes in unsafe vicinities.

"We can no longer afford to have weak disaster preparedness systems. This is why it is important for the Philippines to understand and minimize the vulnerability of its cities--especially Metro Manila, home to the nation's important sectors," he said.

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