Press Release
July 11, 2011


As intermittent rains hit the country, as well as floods in several areas and the recent landslide in Bukidnon, Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed his call for the creation of a nationwide disaster preparedness strategy that utilizes advanced technology.

The United Nations' Third Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, held last May in Geneva, Switzerland, showed that in the first quarter of this year, worldwide damage due to disasters amounted to US$350 billion.

According to Angara, the use of more advanced technology in planning and prevention, particularly in poverty-stricken areas, will reduce damage to families and communities.

The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), chaired by Angara, is the main proponent of the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC). The DSMC specifically hopes to create more resilient communities in areas most vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change.

"We should follow the example set by our Asian neighbors like Japan," said Angara. "They recognized the inevitability of natural disasters, and worked on creating infrastructure designed to prepare for these events."

Angara added, "Long-term prevention always proves to be much more valuable than relief."

The DMSC is collaborating with foreign experts from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Disaster Management Society of Taiwan (DMST), and local partners like the Manila Observatory (MO) to reshape disaster science in the Philippines.

Angara also encouraged the use of social media in launching massive information campaigns to circulate crucial information among Filipinos. The widespread interest in Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites can be used keep our people up to speed regarding weather conditions, road conditions and emergency hotlines.

"If we use available resources and technology wisely, we can keep ourselves one step ahead of these disasters," Angara stressed.

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