December 3, 2014 — Malacañang assured the public Wednesday that the government is giving its full attention to preparations for tropical cyclone Hagupit, which threatens to hit Eastern Visayas during the weekend.
In a text message, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is working toward minimizing casualties due to the weather disturbance.
“Todo tutok ang NDRRMC at ang mga lokal na yunit nito upang maging ganap ang paghahanda ng mga komunidad at mamamayan at matamo ang layuning zero casualties,” Coloma said.
Hagupit, which will be locally called “Ruby” once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility, intensified into a typhoon early Wednesday as it continues to move toward the country’s southeastern boundary.
The NDRRMC has already directed local officials from Eastern Visayas, the same region hardest hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year, to prepare for Typhoon Hagupit.
Before Yolanda unleashed its wrath over central Philippines last year, President Benigno Aquino III delivered a televised speech calling for preparedness for the powerful weather disturbance.
Despite Aquino’s call, Yolanda still cut a swath of devastation across central Philippines, leaving 6,300 people dead and displacing over 1.4 million families.
The Aquino administration has been criticized by Yolanda survivors and even by international media for its supposedly slow response in Yolanda’s aftermath.
Malacañang however has maintained that its response to the devastation was at par with international standards. - GMA News