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NDRRMC: Aquino may visit C' de Oro, Iligan after Christmas

President Benigno Aquino III may visit and inspect Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities, the two areas hit hardest by Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi), shortly after Christmas. This was part of the presidential guidance the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) got after Aquino met with officials at Camp Aguinaldo. "(NDRRMC is to) schedule a presidential inspection and visit to affected communities in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City on Tuesday, 27 December 2011," the NDRRMC said in its 6 p.m. update. For their part, the Departments of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are to look into the mitigation aspect of areas with high exposure to disaster risks. They are then to employ prioritization as to their potential impact for disasters. Agencies should also give consideration to long-term mitigation measures to address siltation of rivers, mining and deforestation. "These high risk areas should be identified for human settlements and development be relocated into safe habitation," it said. Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways is to render an assessment report on Monday, December 26, on ongoing reconstruction of the main roads in Ilocos Norte, particularly in Pagudpud. Pagudpud had sustained damage due to landslides brought by monsoon rain. 3-day warning lead time The NDRRMC also noted a need to widen the three-day warning period to mitigate the impact of incoming cyclones or calamities. "Assets to include military response capabilities can be transferred before the three-day warning whenever a typhoon will affect communities at risk," it said. In this regard, a review of the protocols to include maintenance and transporting costs of these air, land, and maritime assets should be undertaken. On the other hand, a mandatory meeting or formal conference will be conducted by the NDRRMC and the Office of the President with local government units for threatened areas due to incoming typhoons and avoid water-related disasters. The NDRRMC said there is a need to come up with a Crisis Manual for Natural Disasters. It noted the 13 barangays in Cagayan de Oro City to be situated along the two swollen river systems which river beds already silted are like “disasters waiting to happen.” — LBG, GMA News