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Legarda: Communication, Vital Tool for ‘Zero Casualty’ during Disasters

June 26, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that communication is crucial in achieving “zero casualty” during disasters.

“Communication is vital before, during and immediately after disasters. We need it to warn our citizens of impending disasters so they can prepare ahead of time; we need it during disasters for effective monitoring; and we need it also immediately after for efficient delivery of recovery and rehabilitation services,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.

In this regard, the Senator said she hopes that the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Moses tablets will be effective tools of communication.

According to the DOST, the Moses tablets will be given to barangay chairmen for immediate two-way communication during disasters. These locally developed tablets are water-resistant, have antennas, and powered with extended-life batteries.

“We can avert disasters when there is communication between and among local leaders and government agencies. A good example is that of the municipality of Alimodian during Typhoon Gener in 2012, when they recorded zero casualty because they immediately reported to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signs of possible landslide in their area,” said Legarda.

She explained that when the heavy rains of Typhoon Gener triggered major landslides in the populated barangay of Cunsad in Alimodian, Iloilo there were no casualties, because when the natural signs of impending landslide showed up in the area, the municipal government immediately reported it to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of DENR for risk assessment. They heeded the advice of geologists to relocate the residents, thus, saving the lives of everyone in the community.

“We hope that these Moses tablets would result to better risk information. Meanwhile, to ensure that this project is made more effective and efficient, we also urge telecommunications companies to check the integrity of their communication infrastructure and locations and where their broadcast towers are installed, and make sure that their cables and buildings are safe when disasters occur,” said Legarda.