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PIA Press Release

Step up national hazard mapping, PGMA orders DENR

Manila (4 December) -- To prevent similar unfortunate events and deaths due to natural disasters in the future, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the environment and natural resources department to strengthen the national hazard mapping program.

"I am directing the DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] to step up the national hazard mapping program to forewarn vulnerable communities and help increase the capability for local governments of early warning and action," she said.

She remarked that the gulleys on the slopes of Mount Mayon that bear potential mudflows are a case in point, adding that death and destruction in the wake of calamities can be minimized by organized and systematic human intervention.

The Chief Executive stressed that the nation must not leave things to fatal luck when its people can develop the tools to prevent harm.

Hence, such recurrent tragedies cannot but underscore the need for greater preparedness, operational effectiveness and predictive capacity.

Meanwhile, amidst the rising number of fatalities and missing people in Albay due to mudflow, the President called on the whole nation, saying:

"This is a time for unity and continuous action, as we pour in more troops, medical personnel and volunteers as well as dispatch more equipment in the search and retrieval operations and facilitate direct assistance to the victims."

"We join the Filipino people in praying for that miracle of finding more survivors. We are no strangers to this kind of tragedy; and we have always been able to recover and become stronger," she added.

The President earlier declared the entire nation under the state of calamity and ordered the release of P1 billion calamity fund. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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