October 6, 2011
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Foods Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today calls on Local Government Units and other concerned agencies to include typhoon drills as part of their efforts in disaster preparedness.
“As a means to strengthen disaster preparedness and educate our citizens on the necessity of evacuation operations and procedure during times of typhoons, LGUs and Regional Disaster Coordinating Councils should undertake typhoon drills on a regular basis,” Pangilinan says after surveying flooded areas and conducting relief goods operation in Pampanga and Bulacan.
“Our schools and offices undertake earthquake drills regularly even if we have earthquakes perhaps once or twice a year, yet we do not have typhoon drills despite the fact that we have 20 typhoons hitting the country each year.”
Local officials and rescue workers say that when typhoons Pedring and Quiel hit, most homeowners refused to leave their property despite early warnings of flooding. This prompted a debate on whether the PNP and AFP should use forced evacuation procedures in such cases. Pangilinan says typhoon drills would address this concern as this will give the public the necessary information.
“Disaster preparedness is the best way to ensure that lives are saved, and death and injuries brought down to a minimum. After visiting the disaster areas of Pampanga and Bulacan and conferring with local officials and our men from both the AFP and PNP, we see this drill as an effective way to educate and enlighten our citizens on the issue.”