Philippines government’s disaster response manual

President Benigno S. Aquino III wants a review of the government’s disaster response manual to prevent unnecessary loss of lives in the aftermath of the devastation of storm “Sendong” in Mindanao.

The President was briefed by several government agencies in Camp Aguinaldo on Saturday regarding their response to the devastation brought about by storm “Sendong,” which left more than a hundred people dead and hundreds still missing.

The Chief Executive also wants a more accurate and effective typhoon tracking system so that communities along typhoon path could have enough time to prepare before such disturbance hits.

Areas vulnerable to flash floods must be identified for the government to issue immediate warnings during heavy downpours and typhoons, the President said.

At the same time, the President instructed concerned government agencies to do necessary preparations and brace for the entry of “Sendong” in Palawan, the next place expected to be hit by the storm based on latest forecasts.

During the briefing with the President, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that the death toll could be 130 as of Saturday noon. This figure may continue to rise, it said.

At least 260 people are missing, all of them from Iligan City, according to the NDRRMC.

In its report to the President, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is sheltering hundreds of people in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and other areas. It distributed food packs Saturday morning which could last for three days. It is planning to distribute more food packs.

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