AS THE Philippines braces for the arrival of the 8th typhoon in a month, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan encourages national and local government officials and Filipinos to immediately implement disaster risk reduction protocols and exercise early warning and evacuation, as well as stockpiling of food packs and relief goods.
“This is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ situation. Hindi pa tayo nakakarecover mula sa bagyong Quinta at Rolly, paparating na si Ulysses at tumbok na namang muli ang Bicol Region at Southern Tagalog. Kailangan nang magsagawa ng pre-emptive evacuation at magstock-pile ng mga pagkain, relief goods, medisina, at lahat nang kailangang gamit upang makapaghanda,” Pangilinan said.
Typhoon Ulysses was located 635km east of Surigao City Monday morning, and is headed for the typhoon-ravaged Bicol Region at 40 km/h. Ulysses slightly intensified with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h.
According to the national weather bureau Pagasa, Ulysses is likely to make landfall in the Quezon-Bicol area on Wednesday.
“Ang pinakamahalaga ay mabalaan agad ang ating mga kababayan sa Bicol, lalo na ang mga lugar na wala pang kuryente at signal sa telepono. Kung maaari rin ay unahin nang i-repair ang mga evacuation centers lalo na sa mga lugar na tinamaan ni Rolly at tatamaan na naman ni Ulysses,” Pangilinan said.
Damages to infrastructure by Super Typhoon Rolly, which devastated the region eight days ago, is now at P11 billion. According to the latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 44,033 houses were damaged in Bicol, Mimaropa, and Cordillera Autonomous Region.
“Alam nating sanay ang Bicol sa mga bagyo, at sila ay modelo ng disaster risk reduction and management. Pero hindi nito ibig sabihin na hahayaan nalang natin sila sa kanilang sarili. Kailangan nating magtulungan, kailangan nating tulungan ang Bicol at ibigay ang lahat na pwedeng assistance upang makabangon muli ang rehiyon,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan earlier joined calls to rechannel the P19 billion anti-insurgency fund to instead assist those devastated by typhoon Quinta and super typhoon Rolly.
He also encouraged the implementation of a price freeze in disaster-hit areas to cushion the effects of consecutive typhoons.
Apart from these, his office has delivered 590 sacks of rice to Typhoon Rolly-affected areas, while raising funds through the non-government organization Kaya Natin and the Liberal Party which he heads.
Since October 11, the country has been hit by Typhoons Nika, Ofel, Pepito, Quinta, Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, and this time Ulysses.