MANILA Government officials are looking at a slew of high-tech and practical solutions to upgrade the country's disaster preparedness and inform the public in case a "Big One" or a strong earthquake hits Metro Manila.
During Thursday's multi-agency forum, led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and dubbed "Resilience Marketplace for Innovation", government officials detailed plans to improve resilience during disasters.
The plans include a unified "911" ICE or "in case of emergency" number.
DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo Florece Jr. said communities and even families should have a pre-arranged rendezvous point in case of disasters, where affected individuals know where they should converge.
Florece said the area of convergence should be safe from the effects of the disaster and should be known to all the family members.
National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro, meanwhile, underscored the importance of recognizing positive strides made by local government units (LGUs) in disaster preparedness, such as the tents prepared by the Marikina City government for flood victims.
Navarro said highlighting positive moves in disaster preparedness help in "benchmarking" responses by other LGUs in similar situations.
Assistant Secretary and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Deputy Administrator Kristoffer James Purisima said his agency is currently improving the mechanism for transmitting information between agencies and telcos for dissemination to the public through social media and SMS messaging.
Purisima also said there is a plan to prepare and organize professional and amateur VHF and UHF radio users as a back-up plan in case telco services become untenable during a disaster.
"What is needed is a frame of mind to prepare," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency