MANILA — Enacting a law allowing authorities to forcibly move out hard-headed residents in an identified danger area in times of natural disasters may be one of the measures to attain zero casualty, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Wednesday.
“Lalung-lalo na siguro sa ganitong pagkakataon alam naman natin parating ‘yung bagyo, sang-ayon po ako dito kasi napakahirap talaga (I’m in favor of this. It’s really difficult, especially on occasions like this when we already know there is an approaching storm),” Go said.
The proposed Forced Evacuation Law allows authorities to enforce mandatory evacuation to residents even if this requires bodily moving them to safe grounds.
A bill has been filed in Congress but it is still pending before the committee on national defense and security.
The latest typhoon to hit the country, “Ompong,” caused the deaths of at least 81 people, many of them in Benguet province.
Before the typhoon hit, Go advised the people to prioritize their own safety before their belongings and go to evacuation centers.
In an interview, Go said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to put up more evacuation centers and improve existing ones.
“Ang paigtingin natin ay ‘yung evacuation centers po. Iyon din ang direktiba ng ating Pangulo na maglagay ng mga evacuation centers. Direktiba ni Pangulo sa HUDCC (Let’s strive for the construction of more evacuation centers as this is part of the President’s directive to the HUDCC),” Go said.
“Inatasan ng ating Pangulo ‘yung HUDCC to build more evacuation centers po para sa mga ganitong pangyayari mayroon silang pagsisilungan. Pangalawa, inutusan rin ng ating Pangulo ‘yung DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) sa mga tulong tulad ng emergency shelter assistance, sa mga bahay po na nasira at mga bubong nito (Our President instructed HUDCC to build more evacuation centers so that the victims will have shelter in times of natural disasters. He also instructed DSWD to extend assistance such as emergency shelter assistance for victims who lost their houses),” he said.
The presidential aide also urged local officials to be more prepared for natural disasters.
“Sana po ay tuwing may mga preparations sa bagyo dapat ang local officials po ang mangunguna sa preparasyon (During calamities, the local officials must be at the forefront of preparations),” he said. (OSAP PR)