'We could have done better': Marcos says it's 'important' to look at how deaths due to flooding could be avoided in the future

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered his Cabinet members, particularly Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr., to look into how the government could have do better in terms of issuing warnings against flooding and preemptively evacuating people from flood-prone areas after at least 40 people were reported to have died in Maguindanao during the onslaught of Typhoon "Paeng."

Presiding over a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) meeting on Saturday, Marcos believed it is "important" for the government "to look back and see why this happened."

Marcos was caught in disbelief as he rued the 40 deaths, 31 wounded and 10 missing in Maguindanao, figures confirmed by Governor Miriam Mangudadatu, "seem very high for a flooding incident."

"We could have done better in Maguindanao in terms of preparing because it's a little too high. We should have done better than that," the President said.

"Hindi natin na warningan 'yung mga tao (We were not able to warn the people), and to evacuate there out of the way of the incoming flash flood," he added.

Marcos then asked Solidum why there was no warning about the flooding. But the latter responded by saying that concerned agencies already issued a rainfall forecast in Maguindanao that could have led to flooding.

The President believed that if people were immediately evacuated, then the number of casualties could have been lower.

"That's something that we're going to study a little bit more after we have attended to the immediate concerns," Marcos said.

But "for the rest of the country," the President believed that "the preparation is sufficient."

Marcos also ordered those agencies providing relief goods to immediately offer assistance once it is logistically possible.

Currently, Philippine troops in Manila still cannot not travel to storm-ravaged areas to deliver assistance to those in need due to continuous rainfall.

"We just have to wait until yung mga asset natin kapag pwede na pumasok... pasukin na natin... wag na natin hintayin lumabas ang bagyo (until our assets can go to places. Once it is possible, let them go to places affected by typhoon. Let's not wait for the typhoon to leave the Philippine area of responsibility)," he said.

The President also ordered his officials to prioritize delivering bottled waters and filtration systems to affected areas, as well as restoring power supply in hospitals and communities.