SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led other members of the House of Representatives in participating in a Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Congress which discussed the various initiatives and projects by the government and private sector concerning natural hazards.
The summit was spearheaded by the House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winton Castelo.
Some government officials and experts on disaster preparedness attended the event, whose purpose is to educate and inform the public on disaster preparedness and to provide private organizations and government agencies the chance to share insights and knowledge.
Castelo emphasized that the summit served as an opportunity to create a comprehensive, unified, and harmonized plan of action for calamities, whether natural or human-induced.
The summit featured talks from heads of government agencies that play a critical role in preparation for disasters and the mitigation of their effects. The event also featured discussions by local community, non-government organizations (NGO), and corporate leaders on their protocols and strategies.
Renato Solidum, Jr., Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director, stressed that the possible effects and damages must be learned to ensure that the efforts to prepare are indeed comprehensive and exhaustive.
Solidum cautioned that there must be preparations not only for “The Big One,” a 7.2-magnitude earthquake generated by movement of the West Valley Fault and predicted to ravage lives and infrastructure in Metro Manila, but for other large-scale calamities.