Secretary Roxas cites early warning system in reducing storm casualties

By: Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA, Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said the government’s early warning system has helped reduce the number of casualties and losses during typhoon situations.

He said the national government invested hundreds of millions of pesos for the procurement of radars, dopplers and other scientific gadgets to gather specific and accurate weather forecasts and alert people to prepare early.

“(Through these gadgets) we are able to alert people from 24 to 72 hours before the coming of typhoon,” Roxas said during a press briefing at the provincial capitol here.

Roxas and Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda flew to Ilocos Norte last Monday and met Governor Imee Marcos and Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson.

The neighboring Ilocos provinces were two of the hardest hit when Typhoon Mario barreled through northern Luzon last week.

Roxas also cited how local and national governments including the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) operate during a weather disturbance.

“Early warning is given to local governments which are the frontliners. National governments in the local level work on early preparation while the national disaster council supports in the recovery efforts,” Roxas said.

Roxas said the duty to respond during the 24 to 48-hour period of a storm is lodged with the local governments. The national government comes in after the 48-hour mark, he added.

“But this time, the national government responded within 48 hours by sending a C-130 air force plane to bring food packs for the victims,” he said.

He also said the importance of close coordination between and among the national government, the LGUs and the community in preparing for a typhoon.#