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PIA Press Release
2007/09/20

Pray no more disasters, even as tools for prediction are given - Leyte gov

By Bong Pedalino

MAASIN CITY (20 September) -- While acknowledging that the early warning devices installed in selected areas in various towns of the province including this city were made possible because of experiences with natural disasters before, Gov. Damian Mercado nevertheless expressed hope that all those tragic events be confined in the past.

"We hope there will no longer be disasters even as the tools for predicting them are already given to us. We pray disasters in our province will no longer return," Gov. Damian Mercado told a gathering of thirteen Mayors, their representatives, and heads of offices involved in the UNDP-assisted project, and a representative of the private sector.

The occasion was the ceremonial turn-over of the Community-Based Flood Early Warning System (CBFEWS) held at the RK Kangleon Function House, this city, this morning.

The CBFEWS is an integral part of a kilometric undertaking known as "Hazard Mapping and Assessment for Effective Community-Based Disaster Risk Management", shortened as READY project.

Gov. Mercado, however, pledged to take care and protect the equipment that were already put-up in strategic places around the province, even as he wished the territory be spared in future calamities, God willing.

Recepient Mayors were likewise called by Gov. Mercado to do their share in maintaining, caring, and protecting the equipment that were formally turned over to them, consisting mostly of rain gauges and water level gauges in rivers.

Mayor Pedro Fustanes earlier said the assistance was a welcome development for local government units, saying emergency preparedness has been a priority concern of the LGUs, and that they will exert conscious efforts to sustain and maintain the project.

A highlight of the activity was the turn-over of digital and manual early warning devices, including a conventional "batingaw", or bell, by a private telecommunications company, SMART, through Atty. Ma. Jane Paredes, the Manager for Public Affairs for Visayas-Mindanao.

Among the participating heads of agencies that were around were Nilo Prisco, the Deputy Director for Operations of PAG-ASA, Dr. Susan Espenueva, the Team Leader of READY Project at PAG-ASA, and Salvador Estudillo, Regional Director of the Office of Civil Defense. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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