Press Release
June 24, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed calls for nationwide disaster preparedness, especially at the grassroots, following the close succession of typhoons entering the country.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that another low pressure area (LPA) has been spotted near the Bicol region even as tropical storm "Falcon" is already within the country's area of responsibility.

PAGASA warned that Falcon could intensify if it merges with the LPA. Hundreds of people in the Bicol area have reportedly been stranded while over 20 domestic flights in Luzon cancelled as a result.

Angara urged the government to create a campaign that will train Filipinos on emergency measures and protocols in the face of calamities. He said it is important that this kind of information be transmitted to local communities and households.

"Aside from training on search and rescue efforts, we must educate each and every individual on what to do in case of catastrophe--where to go, what numbers to call, how to establish communication with family, and a basic knowledge of first aid," he explained. "It is the ordinary person who needs to be adequately equipped with information vital to surviving natural disasters."

This survival training would include instructions on how to prepare a survival kit containing basic necessities such as non-perishable food, first-aid kit, batteries and a mini-radio, flashlight, candles and waterproof matches.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, urged the use of information and communications technology to launch this information campaign as soon as possible.

The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), also chaired by Angara, is a major proponent of the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC).

COMSTE is currently cooperating with experts from Japan, Taiwan and Korea to create a strategic plan to handle disasters in the country.

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