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MANILA, Philippines – If Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will have his way, the Senate will launch yet another investigation, this time into why so many died following typhoon Sendong.
Senator Pimentel on Wednesday, January 4, filed resolution no. 671 urging the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and other committees to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on “factors that contributed to the huge number of casualties in human lives and the massive destruction brought about by typhoon Sendong particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and in the province of Negros Oriental.”
Pimentel hails from Cagayan de Oro City. His resolution says the purpose of the investigation is so that the nation may “learn a lesson from this tragedy, and possibly mitigate, if not prevent entirely, the loss of life and destruction of property during calamities, both natural and man-made.”
It would be recalled that after typhoons Ondoy (international name “Ketsana”) and Pepeng (international name “Parma”) in late 2009, the Senate also launched a similar investigation.
Below is the text of Pimentel’s resolution. – Rappler.com
FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE )
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES )
Second Regular Session )
S E N A T E
P. S. Res. No. 671
Introduced by Senator AQUILINO “KOKO” L. PIMENTEL III
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND OTHER APPROPRIATE SENATE COMMITTEES, TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE HUGE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES IN HUMAN LIVES AND THE MASSIVE DESTRUCTION BROUGHT ABOUT BY TYPHOON SENDONG THAT HIT THE PHILIPPINES IN DECEMBER 2011
WHEREAS, typhoon Sendong entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on December 15, 2011 and made landfall in Mindanao on December 16, 2011;
WHEREAS, typhoon Sendong was officially classified by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) under Signal Number 2;
WHEREAS, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Update Report dated 27 December 2011, has placed the number of dead at 1,453, injured at 4,594, with thousands still missing, 113,336 families (719,485 persons) affected with 11,441 families (54,795 persons) still inside 56 evacuation centers, 42,325 houses damaged (12,805 totally and 29,520 partially), with the damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and school buildings estimated to have reached P1,143,671,975;
WHEREAS, because of the huge number of casualties in human lives brought about by typhoon Sendong, it is now ranked among the top five deadliest typhoons that have ever hit the Philippines although it is considered a relatively weaker typhoon compared to typhoon Frank that hit the country in 2008, and the twin typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009;
WHEREAS, even while rescue and relief efforts were still being done, there were already news reports of finger-pointing between the local government officials of Cagayan de Oro City and the officials of national government agencies like NDRRMC, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), among others, as to where the fault or blame should be placed, given the huge death toll and massive destruction brought about by typhoon Sendong;
WHEREAS, there is a need to conduct an investigation into the factors that led to the humongous number of deaths and massive destruction brought about by typhoon Sendong, particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and in the Province of Negros Oriental, in order for the entire nation to learn a lesson from this tragedy, and possibly mitigate, if not prevent entirely, the loss of life and destruction of property during calamities, both natural and man-made;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, THAT THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND OTHER APPROPRIATE SENATE COMMITTEES, INQUIRE, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, INTO THE FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED OR LED TO THE HUGE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES IN HUMAN LIVES AND THE MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTIES BROUGHT ABOUT BY TYPHOON SENDONG IN DECEMBER 2011, TO ENSURE THAT THE LOSS OF LIFE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY DURING FUTURE TYPHOONS AND STORMS AND OTHER CALAMITIES ARE MITIGATED.
(Sgd.) SEN. AQUILINO “KOKO” L. PIMENTEL III