29 November 2013

Gov. Salceda: LGU Preparation is Lacking

Salceda's Ang HIndi
The record of Albay in disaster mitigation can speak for itself and Governor Joey Salceda is proud of that. However, it is also a source of frustration when he sees that other local government units take that experienced for granted.

In the aftermath of the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) Governor Salceda called on other local government units to adopt drastic measures in preparing for future calamities.

"Kailangan in possesion ka ng powers mo, nung 3 days before it happened, I already had 37 trucks under my command, binigay ng army," Salceda said in an interview with ANC’s Headstart.

He added, instead of going to evacuation centers, they have evacuated families to much stable houses of well-off families.

"Bakit ka dun pupunta [sa evacuation sites]? Walang TV, walang CR, walang lahat, walang tubig. Eh di dun ka na lang sa mayayaman meron kami family life support," he said.

Salceda also noted that Tacloban did not seem prepared enough for the typhoon.

Tacloban is one of the areas extremely devastated by Yolanda.

"Hindi naman kasi talaga nag-hahanda eh. May mga warning-warning pero ganito ang palatandaan namin niyan. Eh nung Sabado nalaman ko na yan [yung bagyo] nasa labas palang. Tapos humingi na ako ng 15,000 bags [of rice] kay Dinky. Sabi ko Dinky kailangan ko mag-pre-emptive [evacuation] ng 150,000. Binigyan ako. Sino sa kanila ang humingi ng bigas para makapag-pre-emptive? Wala naman eh. So, chikka," he said.

He noted, "Ang preparation, alisin mo yung tao dun. Katulad nung ginawa sa Bantayan, yan ang perfect example. Galing sa maliit na isla, dinala sa San Francisco."

Many of Tacloban City LGU's efforts, it turned out, were woefully inadequate. Some officials miscalculated the biggest threat that Typhoon Haiyan posed to the city and its surroundings. They used a term for the storm that wasn't widely understood. They grossly underestimated the havoc the storm would wreak, stocking far too few supplies for a city to survive on in an emergency.

And they failed, despite vigorous efforts, to move many of the most vulnerable people out of harm's way. For almost 24 hours, local and national officials in Tacloban had no way even to call for help. They had simply failed to imagine a storm so large.

Meanwhile, Salceda said two ports have opened to ease the congestion of trucks bringing relief supplies at Matnog Port in Sorsogon.

The addition of more ships has reduced the line of vehicles, that stretched to 10-kilometer at one point, which caused delays in distribution of goods to Yolanda-hit areas.

The additional ships and opening of ports helped in speeding up transportation of the relief goods, Salceda explained.

"Nagdagdag ng dalawang navy ships, LCT tsaka isa MV Aviva. So tatlo na yung bagong RORO dun, tas binuksan yung Bulan port pari yung Pio Duran port so tatlong port na, so the queue can be managed already."