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PBBM launches 'HANDA Pilipinas' Visayas Leg in Tacloban

MANILA -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led on Wednesday the launching of the “Handa Pilipinas” Visayas Leg in Yolanda-hit Tacloban City as part of the administration’s efforts to showcase the various disaster risk reduction and management initiatives of the government.

In his speech, President Marcos said the launching of the “Handa Pilipinas” Visayas Leg was made possible through the collaboration with various stakeholders and partners since super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the region ten years ago.

“Putting our experience at the heart of this event reminds us of the calamity that brought unimaginable destruction to the Visayas, to the Philippines. It also serves as a poignant reminder of the power of nature and our vulnerability to that power,” President Marcos said.

“More importantly, it underscores the importance of disaster risk reduction and management in the Philippines. The Filipino spirit is incredible, it has been demonstrated during and in the aftermath of Yolanda and of COVID,” he added.

“Our ability to come together, to support one another, to rebuild during such adversity is truly an inspiration. We therefore owe it to ourselves and to future, to learn from this experience and make sure that such devastation will be mitigated or somehow prevented—because we are now better prepared and we are now better adapted to the vagaries of very severe weather events.”

With this in mind, the President said the government will remain committed to advancing the disaster resilience of the Philippines as he recognized the vital role of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in this undertaking.

President Marcos noted the DOST has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge technologies for disaster risk prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

“I am confident that the technologies featured in this event such as the mobile command post, the triaging trailer tent, the collapsible toilet bowl, upgraded emergency disinfection system, fire blanket, unsinkable portaboat and water ambulance, among others—will be of great help during relief and rescue operations,” Marcos said.

“The emergency food reserve as well as the complementary food and food products are also good additions to our survival kits during calamities. So, let us also remember that collaboration among government agencies, local governments, and the private sector, and communities is the key to effective and successful disaster risk reduction and management,” he added.

The chief executive implored the Filipino people to maximize the use of the new technologies and fast-track their widespread adoption and commercialization as he urged everyone to promote public awareness for a more proactive, well-informed and better equipped citizenry.

“Let us ensure that science and innovation continues to guide us in our endeavors. These are crucial to addressing the challenges in disaster risk reduction and staying ahead of the curve in disaster management,” President Marcos said.

“The world is rapidly changing. It is imperative that our ways and strategies adapt and improve as well. My fellow Filipinos, let us remember the lessons of the past, not with despair, but with the determination to learn and to change for the better,” he added.

Before concluding his speech, the President called on the public to remain united and channel their “energies into building a safer, stronger, more resilient Philippines” not only for the present time, but also for the future generations.

President Marcos emphasized the administration’s campaign for a “New Philippines” aims to ensure that all Filipinos will be ready to face every challenge and will be ready to help one another not only in times of disaster, but also in their daily activities. (PND)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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