Press Release
August 30, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the necessity of international collaboration in improving national disaster mitigation and disaster risk reduction programs.

Angara made the statement in light of the devastation caused by Typhoon "Mina" (international name: Nanmadol) and Hurricane "Irene" in northern Luzon and the northeast coast of the United States, respectively.

"Two cyclones hitting two different parts of the globe over the same weekend is a clear example of how a changing climate is a growing international challenge. For sure, there are differences between what people experienced in Cagayan Valley or Baguio and what people went through in New Jersey or Vermont. But a problem of this magnitude needs solutions rooted in global cooperation," said Angara.

As of Monday night, Typhoon "Mina" reportedly left 17 people dead with eight still missing. Crops worth P1 billion and P180 million were lost in Cagayan and Isabela respectively.

So far, 21 deaths have been attributed to Hurricane "Irene," which left many Americans without power and at risk of flooding. While the total damage is yet to be determined, the US Government estimated that the price of wind damage alone will already exceed $1 billion.

"Irene and Mina have wrought economic damage to both the US and the Philippines--a fact only compounded by the highly intertwined nature of the global economy. If we wish to minimize the cost, we need to collaborate with other countries--as they need to collaborate with us--in mitigating disasters and reducing the associated risks," said Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Angara noted that COMSTE is pushing for the creation of the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC), which will serve as a clearinghouse of disaster-related data sourced worldwide. As a public-private partnership (PPP) in disaster mitigation and risk reduction, the DSMC can serve as the venue for collaborations with international partners.

Foreign experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Disaster Management Society of Taiwan (DMST) have expressed their support for the initiative led by COMSTE and the Manila Observatory (MO).

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