Monday, September 28, 2009

Pool resources to help typhoon victims, House Speaker urges solons

MANILA, Philippines - Speaker Prospero Nograles urged all members of the House of Representatives to pool the resources together to initially come up with material assistance to the numerous victims of typhoon Ondoy which wrought havoc to a wide area of the country.

"We should immediately pass the hat around and pool our available resources, both personal and official, in cash or in kind, to help the Philippine National Red Cross in its relief operations to help out the flood victims," Nograles said.

Noting the serious vulnerability of the country to natural disasters, Nograles said there is a need to reevaluate the nation's disaster preparedness plan in coordination with the Local Government Units to improve government capabilities to meet contingencies during emergencies.

"The widespread flooding has brought to fore the weaknesses of our preparedness programs. People and government must work together and commit ourselves to meet future challenges and eventualities," Nograles said.

The House leader also lauded the efforts of the national government, particularly President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, for immediately mobilizing government resources to alleviate the plight of the victims.

"President Arroyo and Secretary Teodoro are personally and closely coordinating all government agencies led by the National Disaster Coordinating Council, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, National Defense and the military, in the rescue and relief operations," he noted.

Nograles said the immediate proclamation of a state of calamity covering the affected areas promptly allowed the national and local government to release the needed funds to defray the expenses for the relief operations.

"We are very appreciative of the immediate and on going relief operations by the private sector, especially the leading televisions and radio networks, for their efforts to gather and coordinate donations from all sectors, including the distribution, to those who most needed assistance," Nograles said.

"Ondoy is far worse than typhoon Katrina. The damage to life and property and infrastructure, as per latest reports, is just unthinkable," Nograles added.

Ketsana is the international codename of typhoon Ondoy. (Gil Bugaoisan)

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