- Posted November 29, 2013 by
We're not prepared, Phl official says
AFTER admitting on Friday that the Philippine government was not prepared to face the fury of typhoon “Yolanda” before its onslaught on Nov. 8, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he is backing the creation of a separate government agency which will solely deal with disasters.
Gazmin was referring to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
"That's a very good idea. I think that would be a good approach to the problem since we experience all kinds of disasters, being situated in the ring of fire," the defense chief said.
He added: "Number one is preparation. We were not prepared for that kind of typhoon.”
Gazmin, however, maintained the Philippine government did its best given its limited resources.
Citing the damage to properties and loss of lives wreaked by the typhoon, he said there’s now a need to amend the building code to make structures more resilient to disasters.
The defense chief also stressed that the public should learn more about disaster terminologies like the "storm surge," tsunami-like waves considered as the culprit that claimed the lives of thousands living in coastal areas.
The typhoon devastated Central Philippines and killed more than 5,000 people, including some local government officials and personnel who were supposed to respond first to the disaster.
Meanwhile, Gazmin revealed that the government is now working on relocating settlers in no-build zones which were identified using geo-hazard maps.