President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the country has become a model for effective climate change resilience and adaptation measures ten years after Super Typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught.
“The suffering that we went through is now a bellwether of what the world needs to face when we talk about climate change,” Marcos said during the 10th Yolanda Anniversary Commemoration in Tacloban City, in Leyte.
With the use of new technologies, his administration is now trying to change the country’s image from a victim of disaster to “disaster victor.”
Tacloban City was among the areas which suffered the brunt of the destructive force caused by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013, which killed at least 6,000 people and left a thousand missing.
“And to this day, we still do not know the true scope of our loss because we grieve and we mourn those of our dead,” Marcos said.
“We are certain that there were more but for whatever reason their deaths have not been recorded,” he added.
Despite such adversity, he said Leyte and other parts of the country affected by Yolanda were able to recover thanks to the assistance of other countries, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
“The aid that came from all directions, the volunteerism, the heroism that overflowed in the affected areas, specifically in the rehabilitation of Tacloban,” Marcos said.
The rehabilitation of the city is still ongoing for the city to fully recover particularly on housing.
“We have engaged the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Housing Authority to accelerate the provision of housing units and land titles to our beneficiaries,” the President said.
To prevent a similar tragedy from happening, Marcos said the government has integrated climate change adaptation in its national policies.
He said this has resulted in the construction of disaster-resilient evacuation centers and emergency operations centers.It also led to the establishing of centralized and efficient early warning systems, incident command systems, and disaster response strategies.
The government also started identifying areas prone to disasters and conducting simulation drills.
“It (typhoon Yolanda) is an opportunity to become stronger, wiser, and better as a people and as a country,” Marcos said.
Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. said they are determined to roll out with Filipino-made technology that will increase the capacity of local government units (LGU) in responding to the calamities.
Among the new technologies, which they have developed are the mobile command post, the triaging trailer tent, the collapsible toilet bowl, upgraded emergency disinfection system, fire blanket, unsinkable portaboat and water ambulance.
The said technologies were displayed in DOST’s Handa Pilipinas exhibit.
“Filipinos are often branded as victims of disasters. With science, knowledge and innovation, multi stakeholder collaboration and the Filipino bayanihan spirit, we can be victors over disasters and not victims,” Solidum said.
He noted this can become the “Filipino brand of resilience.” Solidum said.
Image credits: Eoghan Rice-Trócaire/Caritas/CC by 2.0