A matter of
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
By the time this issue comes out, Typhoon Pablo should be, hopefully, leaving our country and we should be looking around and assessing the damage that his passing had caused in the few hours that rains and winds he brought had whipped through our provinces.
Unofficial reports, so far, have given figures citing some 50 casualties, especially in Mindanao and parts of the Visayas, but we are not yet sure how many more had been added as the typhoon swept off.
Something we must acknowledge is that, despite all the preparations, casualties were still claimed, but these were mostly in areas that had already been known to be prone to flooding and exposure to strong winds. In urban areas, less have been recorded, because of better organized and equipped bodies already trained and ready to cope with disasters and calamities.
If there is one thing that Pablo has impressed on us, it is the need to also strengthen the preparedness of towns and barangays that are located far from the cities and the centers of government, who are the most helpless when it comes to natural calamities like Pablo, and its predecessor, Sendong. The latter had left even more extensive damage, and some areas it had struck have not even fully recovered yet, before Pablo came along.
It looks as if the challenge is now placed before the local governments to which these barangays belong. And the demand for them is to have a preparedness plan or program that everybody can participate in and the funding for which, the towns or cities they belong to can include in their budgets. This will certainly be more practical, and more reasonable than earmarking those funds for the purchase of relief goods and maintaining evacuation sites, when tragedies like those wrought by Sendong and Pablo, take place.
Let us urge our local governments to seriously consider this.*