Sen. Bam: Maximize Sci-Tech to address effects of storms, natural calamities

Our science and technology sector can strengthen the country’s mitigation and response to natural calamities and disasters, according to Senator Bam Aquino. 
“Malaki ang maitutulong ng science and technology sa pagsasaliksik, paghahanda at pagbuo ng mga hakbangin upang mapagaan ang epekto ng mga natural na kalamidad,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. 
One of Sen. Bam’s measures to strengthen the country’s response and mitigation during natural calamities and disasters is Senate Bill No. 1211 or the Philippine Space Act. 
Sen. Bam said the measure, if enacted into law, will beef up existing government programs on disaster prevention, including the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s disaster risk management, PAGASA’s astronomical science programs and National Mapping & Resource Information Agency’s satellite information gathering. 
“Makatutulong ito upang mapalakas pa ang kaalaman ng ating mga scientist at mananaliksik pagdating sa paghahanda at pag-aaral ng mga kalamidad na maaaring tumama sa bansa,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam is scheduled to deliver his sponsorship speech anytime and present the measure for the consideration of the plenary. 
“The PhilSA would be responsible for developing space science technology policies, implementing research and education programs, establishing industry linkages between private and public sector stakeholders, protection of national territory, natural resources accounting, and capacity building for telecommunications,” Sen. Bam said. 
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), headed by Sec. Fortunato dela Pena, expressed hope that the bill would enacted into law this year.

Bam wants to involve youth in government’s disaster preparedness efforts

A senator wants to tap the youth in disaster preparedness by giving them an active role in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In his Senate Bill No. 686 or the Youth Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Sen. Bam Aquino proposes to include the Filipino youth in the government’s disaster risk reduction body to recognize their role in DRRM.
The measure also seeks to empower the youth with information and skills to help communities in times of crisis.
“With impending disasters in the country’s future, it is important to move from post-disaster relief to proactive disaster preparedness. And as the nation moves in this direction, it is important to include young Filipinos in this evolving discussion,” said Sen. Bam.
In the measure, the National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman will be included in the NDRRMC to voice out the concerns and proposals of the Filipino youth on disaster prevention, promotion, education, rescue and rehabilitation, among others.
“There is nothing to lose but so much to gain from engaging the youth in responding to natural calamities,” said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam recognized several youth organizations that have served as volunteer firefighters, first responders and peacekeepers in their respective localities.
The Cebu-based Rescue Assistance Peacekeeping Intelligence Detail or RAPID was the one of the first responders in Tacloban City after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.
“The group also helped rescue passengers of a passenger vessel that collided with a cargo ship in Cebu last year,” Sen. Bam said.
The Ormoc City-based Hayag Youth Organization, for its part, has been teaching swimming, disaster preparedness, first aid and open water safety training to the youth.
Today (October 13), the country joins the international community in commemorating the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
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