Press Release
September 11, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for an improved disaster management system in the country following the release of a United Nations report listing the Philippines among the top five most vulnerable to natural disasters.

The World Risk Report 2011 assesses the vulnerability of 173 countries to natural hazards and their ability to handle the aftermath of natural disasters based on exposure, susceptibility of the population, coping capacity and adaptation strategy.

This report from the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Safety (UNU-EHS) reveals that the Philippines is the third most vulnerable worldwide because of the frequency of calamities, such as typhoons, floods, landslides and earthquake, combined with the country's ineffectual disaster preparedness programs.

"The Philippines is no stranger to natural hazards. We are hit by several typhoons every year accompanied by floods and landslides and whose magnitude sometimes is similar to Pepeng, Ondoy and Milenyo," said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

"By now we should have put in place a comprehensive emergency response system and risk reduction program to minimize damage. Disaster mitigation is key to reducing the effects of these inevitable natural disasters," added Angara.

According to a study by the Citizens' Disaster Response Center, more than two dozen natural calamities plagued the Philippines in 2010. The Philippines also placed third in the list of countries hit with the most number of natural disasters.

To this end, Angara is pushing for the creation of a Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) through the the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), which he chairs.

The center will serve as the clearinghouse of disaster-related data sourced worldwide. As a public-private partnership (PPP) in disaster mitigation and risk reduction, the DSMC will also be 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.

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