Statement of Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas on the recent earthquake in Batanes
Actor-politician Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas has reiterated his call for the immediate passage of the proposed Disaster Resiliency and Alertness Management (DREAM) Department Bill amidst
the twin earthquakes that struck Batanes early Saturday morning.
An advocate of disaster preparedness, Rep. Vargas underscored the importance of the department especially that the Philippines is highly exposed to natural calamities and hazards.
“Nature keeps on reminding us to the necessity of DREAM department in order for us to have a sound sleep knowing we are prepared for any disaster” Rep. Vargas stressed.
At least eight people were killed and dozens injured when magnitude 5.4 ad 5.9 struck within hours of each other, according to bulletins issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
“The people from the 5th District of Quezon City, joined the nation in praying for the safety of our brothers in Batanes,” Rep. Vargas said.
The first earthquake struck east of Itbayat around 4:16 am, the same time that Metro Manila authorities conducted the annual earthquake drill.
Likewise, the recent earthquakes measuring magnitude 5.4 and 5.9, should be treated
as a serious warning to the national government, local government units and the people especially those living along the fault line to be more vigilant for the possible Big One.
“These succession of earthquakes is creating a scare and the talks about the Big One persists. Today, even if the affected communities struggle to bring their lives back to normal, as classes resume and the electricity is restored, anxiety and distress continue to creep inside their very souls, confidence still wrecked, and everything in their lives put on hold,” Rep. Vargas stressed.
Rep. Vargas underscored the need for the government and the people to be prepared for the expected magnitude 7.2 earthquake to be generated by the West Valley Fault which is ripe for movement.
Few years back, the (Phivolcs) has warned a powerful quake, possibly at the magnitude of 7.2 to be generated by the West Valley Fault which is ripe for movement.
“It’s a huge undertaking and we have to start the real preparations now, before it’s too late,” said Vargas, a resident and a Representative of Quezon City where the West Valley fault cuts through like a knife.
Vargas appealed to the agencies concern and residents of Metro Manila to stay alert and always prepare both to the powerful earthquake and aftershocks.
Aside from the close monitoring from the Philvocs about the areas identified as located in the direct path of the West Valley fault, people were also asked to know the proper and more effective ways on how to save their lives when time comes.
In his proposal, DREAM Department will be in-charge of the inter-governmental coordination from preparation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation of disaster and climate resilience plans, programs and activities.
Once approved the DREAM Department will absorb the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Office of the Civil Defense and other related bureaus for faster delivery of immediate assistance needed by the victims, cutting down the unnecessary bureaucratic red tape.
“Our country, being highly exposed to natural hazards such as typhoons, earthquakes and climate change, calls for specific approach and action. The brunt of calamities is felt by the least 27.6 million Filipinos, who are among the poorest and marginalized,” Rep. Vargas said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, during his State of the Nation Address (SONA), gave a marching order to pass a measure creating such department.