Monday, September 17, 2018

Bayanihan Key to Effective Disaster Response in Typhoon Ompong Hit Areas

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A day after typhoon Ompong made a landfall in the province of Cagayan, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade reported to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that the restoration and rehabilitation efforts of the DOTr in all affected airports, seaports and terminals are now underway.
During the Presidential Briefing held at the Cagayan Provincial Capitol today, 16 September 2018, Secretary Tugade estimates around PhP35 to 40 Million worth of damages incurred in infrastructure alone, primarily in Tuguegarao Airport.
Immediately after Ompong’s landfall, the Transportation Chief inspected Tuguegarao Airport, and found out that the baggage carousel area and other offices of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) were badly damaged. Meanwhile, the runway, ramp and other navigational equipment are all functional. Secretary Tugade said it will take until Tuesday for the Baggage X-ray scanner to be repaired or replaced.
While rehabilitation works are ongoing, Secretary Tugade requested from the public their patience and understanding. 

“Manu-mano po muna tayo sa pag inspeksyon ng mga bagahe kasi X-ray scanner ang nasira. Importante po iyan para sa security ng mga sasakay na pasahero pero gagawan po natin iyan ng paraan”, said Secretary Tugade.
The Transportation Chief likewise noted that there is a proposal to utilize Lal-lo and Cauayan Airport in case repairs at the Tuguegarao Airport will take longer than expected, with Point to Point buses to address inconvenience.
Meanwhile, reports coming in from Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) confirm that all seaports in the Northern Luzon area such as Curimao, Aparri, Batanes, Salomage and Sual among others reported no damage and are now operational.
Land transportation also immediately resumed leaving all bus terminals with a few to none stranded passengers.
Importance of Bayanihan and Pre-emptive Information

Amid adversity brought by Ompong, Secretary Tugade highlighted the importance of teamwork or “Bayanihan”. 

Tugade was tasked by President Duterte to oversee the planning, preparation and rehabilitation in Cagayan, the Secretary’s hometown.
It can be recalled that Secretary Tugade, along with DOLE Secretary Slvestre Bello III and Presidential Legal Adviser Francis Tolentino, prompted a regional command conference to adequately prepare the local government with the impending disaster.
“Mr. President, the decision to send us here is a very wise decision. Malaki po ang impact nito sa morale ng local government at ng mga tao kasi alam nilang nandito ang national government, naniniwala at sumusunod ang mga tao. Kahit nandiyan ang banta ng bagyo, laban lang kasi andito tayo”, Sec. Tugade said.

The DOTr Chief visited various evacuation centers in Cagayan where he was reunited with a relative from Claveria town. Though he empathizes with the plight of those who have to leave their homes, the secretary said it is the only way to value life and avoid casualties in times of disaster.
Secretary Tugade said, “Dapat ho ang evacuations centers natin kumpleto sa mga kagamitan at secured din.”
Secretary Tugade added the importance of pre-emptive information which was proven to be very helpful. He believes that if the public will be bombarded with timely information, they can efficiently organize themselves to safety.
“Silipin natin iyong anunsyo. How do we communicate? We care for our people and we want to save lives. Iyong compliance and obedience ng civilian population, iba ho. Sana iyong experience na ganyan can be replicated”, Secretary Tugade said.
Further, the private sector also extended their help. Local carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines instantaneously offered a missionary flight which will enable rescue and relief operations reach Tuguegarao and other nearby provinces. Bus companies and other organizations offered the use of their vehicles to transport relief goods to affected areas.

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