Robredo urges big infrastructure projects to withstand typhoons

Published November 8, 2020, 9:49 PM

by Hanah Tabios

Vice President Leni Robredo underscored the importance of crafting programs related to disaster-resilient infrastructure at the national level amid the devastation left by Super Typhoon Rolly in Bicol Region. 

Vice-President Leni Robredo (OVP / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Robredo, who personally made a series of inspections in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Albay provinces last week, said local officials do not have the capacity to build big infrastructure projects, thus, the need for the national government to make such programs. 

“Iyong pag-invest talaga (ang kailangan) sa mga infrastructure na nakaka-mitigate ng epekto ng disasters,” she said during her radio show Sunday. 

(There is really a need to invest in infrastructure that can mitigate the effects of disasters.)

“Siguro iyong pinakakailangan ngayon, iyong coordination ng national sa local kung ano iyong mga klase ng infrastructure na kailangan,” she added.

(So, maybe the need now is for the local government units to coordinate with the national government to check what kind of infrastructure is needed.)

With more than P14 billion worth of damages to infrastructure in Bicol, the vice president stressed that the relocation from the danger zones should be among the priority. 

Robredo also underscored the importance of making appropriate structural designs that would fit the needs of the affected communities especially in disaster-prone areas. 

She said assessment should be made to see the gaps prior to rebuilding infrastructure projects. 

She cited as an example the requests of teachers and local officials to make typhoon-resilient schools which were turned into temporary evacuation centers when there is natural calamity. 

“Kung pwedeng isemento na iyong bubong, kung pwedeng ano na, concrete slab,” she said. 

(If it’s possible to make the roof concrete slab). 

The VP also suggested making multi-story schools to accommodate more evacuees and allow them to sleep comfortably without being engulfed by flood water. 

“Hindi naman kailangan buong Pilipinas, pero iyong mga lugar na dinadaanan ng bagyo, gaya ng Bicol, ng Samar, ‘di ba, iyong Quezon—parati itong vulnerable dahil nasa may Pacific Ocean ito, so sana ito iyong inaasikaso,” she said. 

(It doesn’t have to be the whole Philippines, but only those areas which are mostly hit by typhoons like Samar, Bicol, and Quezon Province. These are areas vulnerable to typhoons as they are near the Pacific Ocean. This should be the priority.)