President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has told local executives to find a way to impose stricter evacuation protocols amid the lingering hesitancy of some to evacuate in times of calamities in an attempt to avoid casualties.
Marcos recognized that the hesitancy among residents to evacuate during typhoons is happening everywhere, prompting to emphasize the need for local government units (LGUs) to "find a way to convince" them to evacuate.
The President even said the people declining calls for evacuation are not hard-headed, it is just inevitable and only natural because they need to secure their house and animals to save them from the disaster.
"Ayaw nilang iwanan yung bahay nila e. Syempre you cannot blame them e. 'Yan na nga hinahabol ang baka malaki ang halaga nun (They do not want to leave their houses. Of course, you cannot blame them. They are running after their cows, because of their high value)," Marcos said in a post-typhoon Paeng situation briefing in Antique on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
"Syempre (Of course, that's) very natural 'yan, everywhere is the same. Merong (The) last 10 percent, ayaw talagang umalis (they really don't want to leave), you have to find a way to convince them to bring them to the evacuation center," Marcos told the local executives.
The chief executive pointed this out after learning that some of the casualties in the province due to tropical storm Paeng chose not to go to the evacuation centers to "chase their cows."
He told the local executives present during the briefing that they must already know what to do as previous calamities have already shown where the high-risk areas are. However, due to climate change, affected areas are becoming less predictable, keeping the government's response to its toes.
"So we really have to be prepared. I don't know how to prepare bago ito e (before this), everything is new. But siguro yun na nga (perhaps) we stay with the routine, with the procedures, the procedures of preemptive evacuation, our forward placement of relief goods and water supply etc. All of that we just stay with that procedure and that procedure will at least mitigate the effects of any disaster," Marcos said.
He further said that the recent typhoon, which took over 150 lives, proves that preemptive evacuation is crucial.
He also stressed the need to fix the damaged bridges and directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prioritize repairing the affected infrastructures.
The President also conducted an aerial inspection over areas hit by the typhoon in Antique.
Prior to the situation briefing, Marcos also led the distribution of various government assistance to families affected by "Paeng" in the province.