Aquino assures Filipinos of adequate protection against calamities, storms through Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (PCOO)

(PCOO)- President Benigno S. Aquino III assured Filipinos of adequate protection against various calamities and other destructive storms through the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH.

In his third State of the Nation Address on Monday during the Joint Session of the 15th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City, the Chief Executive said Project NOAH was launched in Marikina last July in a bid to step up national efforts toward greater and more intensive disaster risk reduction and management procedures in the face of typhoons and calamities.

“Let us talk about the situation in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Once, the government, which is supposed to give aid, was the one asking for aid. Today, even when the storm is still brewing, we already know how to craft clear plans to avoid catastrophe,” President Aquino said.

“Talking about disasters reminds me of the time when a typhoon struck Tarlac. The dike collapsed due to the rains; when one of the barangay captains awoke, the floods had already taken his family, as well as his farming equipment. Fortunately, the entire family survived. But the carabao they had left tied to a tree wasn’t as lucky; it was strangled to death from the force of the flood,” he said.

President Aquino stressed that natural hazards inflicted loss of lives and costly damage to property in the past years.

“Many of those affected by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Sendong were just as defenseless. We lost so many lives to these natural disasters,” he said.

“And now, through Project NOAH, all our anti-disaster initiatives have been brought inside one boat, and we no longer leave the evacuation of families up to mere luck. We now have the technology to give fair warning to Filipinos in order to prepare for and avoid the worst,” the President said.

Through the use of advanced science and technology, the President said Project NOAH will improve disaster management capacity of the government and assure homeland security by reducing casualties and property loss from extremely hazardous events.

“Our 86 automated rain gauges and 28 water level monitoring sensors in various regions now benefit us directly and in real time. Our target before the end of 2013 are 600 automated rain gauges and 422 water level sensors. We will have them installed in 80 primary river basins around the country,” he said. (js)

This article was originally published in the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) website on July 23, 2013

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