As someone who grew up in the Bicol region that is frequently traversed by typhoons, Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday shared the best lesson on preparing for a calamity and that is: "it is better to be OA (over acting)."
“Lumaki kami na napakadalas daanan ng bagyo yung aming lugar (We grew up with very frequent typhoons in our area),” Robredo said in a Facebook post. “Isa sa mga aral namin sa mga sakuna na ganito, mas mabuti na ang OA ang paghahanda at sobrang maagap (One of the lessons we learned in disasters like this is that being OA in preparations is better as well as being proactive),” she added.
Robredo, who hails from Naga in Camarines Sur, shared that in their own house, pieces of plywood and tarpaulin are always ready for the windows and doors. “Ang iba, nilalagyan na ng mga pabigat (gaya ng mga lumang gulong) ang kanilang mga bubong para hindi liparin (Others weigh down their their roof using old tires so these won’t be blown off),” she added.
Before being VP, Robredo served as a Congresswoman in Camarines Sur. She recalled how she and late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, used to fetch those who refuse to evacuate during typhoons.
“Kadalasan kasi mga babae lang at mga bata yung mga pinapapunta sa evacuation centers (Usually it is only women and children who are sent to evacuation centers),” Robredo said. “Ang mga lalaki, nagpapaiwan sa bahay para magbantay ng mga alagang hayop at gamit (The men, they want to be left behind to take care of the house and to look after the pets and other belongings),” she added.
Robredo also underscored the need for the local government units (LGUs) to prepare accordingly. “Kailangan siguruhin na lahat na evacuation centers, ligtas at may pagkain na sapat (You need to make sure that all evacuation centers are safe and that they will have enough food),” she said. “Kailangan na din mag-identify ang mga barangay na may mga danger zone ng evacuation center para sa mga alagang hayop (Barangays with danger zones also identify evacuation center for those who have pets and other animals),” she added.
The country - particularly the Bicol area - is currently bracing for Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) which is considered as the “most powerful typhoon of the year” so far, with wind speeds of up to 205 kilometers (127 miles) per hour according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).