The Philippines must embrace science in dealing with disasters and avoid the mistakes made when Supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) struck the country in November 2013, an academic said on Tuesday.
According to University of the Philippines (UP) Resilience Institute Executive Director Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay, there is a need to introduce science to Filipinos and make them realize it could help reduce a calamity’s impact.
“We need to make people embrace science, [but]it doesn’t stop there,” Lagmay said at the PROTECT 2018: 13th International Exhibition and Conference on Security and Safety in Makati City.
“You have to work with local government units, non-governmental organizations…and stakeholders,” he added.
Warnings and responses are critical during disasters, according to the UP official.
“[Issuing warnings] is actually the job of the government,” Lagmay said, adding that they have “to be accurate, reliable, understandable, and timely.”
“But it has to be matched with appropriate response[s]. You need to engage people, to make them aware [through]educational programs, awareness building, [and]engagement in the community,” he said.
Delivering reliable data also plays a vital role in securing the populace’s safety, Lagmay said, adding that a map presented before Yolanda hit Tacloban City failed to accurately show where the storm surge would hit, costing many lives.
“Each sector has the capacity to offer unique ideas in advancing science, but…it can only work if there [are]open data, open science, open source, open government, [and]open access,” Lagmay added.
Established in 2005, PROTECT has gathered experts and business leaders in tackling serious threats posed by the global economic crisis, natural disasters, pandemics, cybercrimes and other threats affecting businesses.