Press Release
March 18, 2011


As provinces in Visayas and Mindanao struggle to recover from calamity, Senator Edgardo J. Angara sought the immediate establishment of the Disaster Science Management Center, a proposed regional training center for disaster preparedness.

Non-stop rains since Wednesday morning have caused intense flooding and landslides in Visayas and Mindanao, prompting local officials to declare a State of Calamity in Leyte, where thousands were forced to flee their homes.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Philippine branch of the Red Cross have joined forces to put together a search-and-rescue team for those still missing in Eastern Visayas.

"We are witnessing the sheer power of nature--first through the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and then now, here, with the flashfloods and landslides in Visayas and Mindanao," he said.

Angara, head of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering or COMSTE, said that the NDRRMC might not have enough information to address the successive calamities hitting the country.

"The NDRRMC needs more data to be able to create an effective risk management plan for the country. This data would come from research to be conducted by the proposed Disaster Science Management Center under COMSTE," he explained.

The DSMC would also be able to put together a comprehensive risk map using information gathered from each region.

"We would be able to determine how to reduce the risk to people and damage to property, to avoid the costly destruction we're seeing now in our country," said Angara.

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