President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday floated the need to review standard operating procedures (SOPs) to create a uniform and coordinated approach during disasters.
“I think we have to review our SOPs when there’s a warning. So what do we immediately do when the alert is given to us? How do we preposition the things that we will need?” Marcos said in a Cabinet meeting.
Marcos made the remark in the wake of a magnitude 7 earthquake that rocked northern Luzon on July 27.
The number of deaths from the earthquake that rocked Abra and other Northern Luzon provinces last July 27 has climbed to 11.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Friday reported that the latest fatality from the tremor is from Tubo, Abra.
This brought the number of confirmed deaths in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to 10 while Ilocos Region has one death.
Some 410 individuals were injured in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and the CAR.
The affected families are now at 119,730 or 448,990 persons in 1,188 barangays (villages) in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and the CAR.
The Chief Executive said the government should preposition satellite phones, generators, and water, among others once an alert is raised.
“As we know, the very first thing that we have to deal with is really communication, to find out what’s going on where, and then from there we can make an assessment and where to begin,” he said.
“In my experience, the first thing you have to do is communicate with the local government official,” he added.
During the meeting, the President also discussed the use of airlift assets for disaster response.
“Our troops for deployment should be there,” he said.
Marcos also cited the importance of engineers who can help in clearing operations and building temporary structures.
In terms of disaster preparedness, the chief executive said in his first State of the Nation Address that the proposed legislation on the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and National Service Training Program aims to motivate, train, organize and mobilize students for national defense preparedness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk-related situations.
In his visit to Abra on July 28, the President highlighted the need to procure more water purifying systems that will address water supply problems during disasters.