No lives should be lost in a disaster, says Gov. Mercado
By Bong Pedalino
Southern Leyte (16 September) -- The overall goal in the disaster preparedness program of this province is to see to it that if there is a tragedy, if possible, no one will perish, and everyone is saved.
Thus declared Gov. Damian Mercado in a hastily-arranged television interview at his office the other day shortly before the launching of a project that would strengthen communication needs in times of calamities using text messaging through cell phones.
Asked what he can say about the impending two-year project which is funded by the World Bank worth nearly P 10 Million, and supported by Smart Communications and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Gov. Mercado expressed appreciation, saying the venture involved high-tech gadgets that would enable rescuers to easily move in, to respond quickly.
"Our goal is that if there's a disaster, if possible walang mamatay," Gov. Mercado stressed.
Dodie Hernandez, the Provincial Disaster Action Officer, who was beside Gov. Mercado during the TV interview, said his office is aiming that the 500 barangays comprising Southern Leyte should have a contingency plan each in the event of a disaster, and so far some 200 barangays already had such plans.
In a scale of one to ten, with ten the highest, the province's preparedness to disaster is rated at 7, Gov. Mercado said.
Aside from the communication needs, which will be addressed by the ongoing project, Gov. Mercado said there are still lacking paraphernalia for fast response during emergencies, like rubber boats for the sea and firetrucks.
During the launching program, Gov. Mercado cited the support of the private sector which he considered as "blessings from heaven." (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]