Poe after Ulysses’ onslaught: Rebuilding and recovering no longer enough
MANILA, Philippines — “Rebuilding and recovering is no longer enough, we need to be resilient,” Senator Grace Poe said Monday after Typhoon Ulysses battered Luzon provinces.
“This will not be the last nor the worst calamity that would sweep its way through the country,” Poe said in a statement.
“[W]e have to work on becoming more prepared by taking a long-term approach and building communities that are more resilient to the effects of climate change,” the senator, chair of the Senate public services committee, added.
Poe earlier filed Senate Bill No.124 or the proposed “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Act” which seeks to enable local government units to “go beyond recovery and build communities that are resilient to calamities.”
She said her measure also proposed “greater accountability” by appointing a department secretary to the Department of Disaster Resilience and Emergency Assistance and Management, which will be established if the bill is enacted into law.
“Previously, there were already calls to action, proposed initiatives and legislations that sought to help us prepare for the effects of climate change,” Poe said.
“Today, we consider them our ‘what if’. I hope that this doesn’t become another ‘what if’ when the next calamity strikes,” she added.
Poe issued the statement as a team of volunteers organized by her office sent relief goods to Cagayan Valley, one of the hardest-hit regions by Ulysses.
She said the team of volunteers distributed bags filled with rice, sardines, vitamins, and calamansi juice in Ilagan City and the Municipality of Tumauini in Isabela, as well as the far reaches of Tuguegarao City.
“We need to extend as much help as we can now because this is the most critical time for survivors of the calamity. Every donation that reaches them sends the message that they have not been forgotten and that help is on its way,” the senator said.
Cagayan Valley, home of the Magat Dam, became a catch basin as water from typhoon-hit provinces flowed into the dam, Poe noted.
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