Saturday, April 9, 2011

56% Filipinos demands for disaster preparedness and early warning systems

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 10, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change revealed yesterday that most Filipinos believed that there is a need for disaster preparedness and early warning system should scattered in the country as our countrymen recognizes the importance of prompt alerts on impending disasters, saying that the government must heed the people’s demand through the immediate establishment of early warning systems and prioritization of disaster preparedness programs.

“Pulse Asia survey revealed that 56% of the citizenry demanded that there is a need to prioritize early warning mechanisms among its disaster preparedness efforts, following by the storing up of relief goods (19%), designating evacuation centers (16%), and purchasing rescue and relief equipment (10%),” Legarda said, stressing that it is advantageous of establishing effective early warning systems in the community where the government should work on it immediately.

The Senator added that early warning system must be able to integrate risk knowledge, monitoring and warning service, risk communication and warning dissemination, and the response capacity of the community, noting that the same survey also revealed that after disasters, 61% of Filipinos were not satisfied with the government services and assistance they received from the government where they are spending millions for disaster relief operations.

“Investing in disaster preparedness, especially on early warning mechanisms, will not only save lives and properties but also reduce expenses on post-disaster efforts such as relief and rehabilitation,” she pointed out.

Legarda furthered that effective early warning does not have to be costly, citing that sirens or whistles can be used as early warning devices and training programs for volunteers can facilitate awareness and education on disasters and arm the community against the perils of hazards.

“It is good to know that Filipinos are aware of the importance of establishing effective early warning device in their community,” Legarda said, saying that investing early warning save people lives and reduce economic impacts of disasters.

Legarda furthered that the country is disaster prone areas being situated in the ring of fire that render us susceptible to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes where preparedness and mitigation have become matters of extreme urgency.

Disaster Reduction and Management Council records showed that numerous earthquakes occur within the Philippine archipelago every now and then mainly because the country is situated along two major tectonic plates: the Pacific plates and the Eurasian plates, adding that the country has 220 volcanoes, 22 of which are potentially active. The country is also vulnerable to typhoons and tsunamis as well as one of the typhoon belts of the world. (Jason de Asis)

Cyber attacks whops 93 percent worldwide; Phl should protect internet users

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 9, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara revealed that cyber attacks whopping to 93% from 2009 to 2010 while 42% of mobile phones are more vulnerable against malicious software where he urged the government for the modernization of the Philippine government agencies tasked to watch over this vital sector, following reports of increasing cyber attacks worldwide.

Angara said that now our computer systems are susceptible to cybercrime, there is a need to protect Filipino users by giving the authorities the means and power to oversee this industry where he authored Senate Bill No. 50, otherwise known as “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2010” which seeks to reorganize the existing Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), dividing it into two separate bodies that is one dedicated solely to transportation and the other on the  information and communications technology (ICT). 

To develop and oversee the ICT sector in the Philippines, the proposed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) shall be the primary administrative and regulatory body of the government tasked and it will also be in-charged in protecting the country’s ICT industries against the growing number of security risks inherent to the nature of technology.

Upon the creation of the DICT, Angara said that it shall take over the powers, functions, records, funds, equipment, property, and personnel of the Commission of Information and Communications Technology, national computer center, Telecommunication office and all operating units in the DOTC with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications which shall be demolished.

The NTC and Philippine Postal corporation shall become the attached agencies of the DITC with the department also taking authority over the postal delivery services industry, adding that the DITC shall be headed by the secretary and offices of the secretary, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries.

“The numbers of mobile and internet users increase, so do the malicious entities intent on taking advantage of the people’s openness to technology; thus, the government must be proactive in keeping up with the digital revolution sweeping the globe to increase the safety and security of the millions of tech-savvy Filipinos,” Angara said. (Jason de Asis)


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