Ph Government pats itself on the back for level of preparedness as Typhoon Pablo batters Mindanao

As bodies recovered in the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) in pile up in makeshift morgues all over Mindanao, the casualty statistics begin to approach the levels hit by Typhoon Ondoy’s flood waters which engulfed Metro Manila in 2009. However, the level of importance the Philippines’ seat of culture and governance seem to be placing on the plight of their southern colonies seems to be not up to scratch.

Even as the astounding scale of the tragedy unfolds, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) still found the gall to trumpet on ABS-CBN News how “more prepared” they were for the calamity…

“There was an improvement in the preparation of local government, national government and our own people. When we said evacuate, they did,” said Ramos.

“It should have been triple the number of casualties if they did not heed our call,” he added.

Ramos also lauded weather bureau PAGASA for their accurate forecast.

“PAGASA did a splendid job. Eight days before it made landfall, PAGASA already informed us,” he said.

The NDRRMC’s official death toll due to typhoon “Pablo” is at 95. “Sendong”, which also hit Mindanao last year, left 1,268 people dead.

NDRRMC also said 61 people were injured due to strong winds and heavy rains brought by Pablo.

Just like in the old days when one could not rely on the local media to report the news, the foreign press becomes the go-to point when searching for the latest uncoloured information, such as this Sydney Morning Herald snapshot of the devastatioon in the Mindanao town of New Bataan in Compostela Valley…

The farming town of 45,000 people was a muddy wasteland of collapsed houses and coconut and banana trees felled by Bopha’s ferocious winds.

Bodies of victims were laid on the ground for viewing by people searching for missing relatives. Some were badly mangled after being dragged by raging flood waters over rocks and other debris. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies.

A father wept when he found the body of his child after lifting a plastic cover. A mother went away in tears, unable to find her missing children. “I have three children,” she said repeatedly, flashing three fingers before a TV cameraman.

[Photo courtesy]

President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III was reportedly not impressed. In a statement issued yesterday he emphasised that “every casualty is a cause of distress and that he wants to strive for better performance on the part of government to avoid casualties.” He also called on a moratorium on “disaster politics” and urged local government officials to do the right thing:

In his speech before the League of Municipalities General Assembly held in Manila Hotel, Aquino asked local politicians not to use disasters as opportunities to promote themselves and urged them to ensure that the people’s needs are met.

Note, however, that the President and his entourage of senatorial bets for the 2013 elections had been severely criticised a few months back for mounting what looked to be a premature campaign in the aftermath of devastation wrought by heavy monsoon rains back in August.

As columnist Tyrone Velez observed in a Sun Star opinion piece

But more than disaster preparedness and response, the telling sign on this tragedy is how human-made activities aggravate the disasters. In one TV footage of the floods, tons of cut logs coming from Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte found their way to the rivers in Agusan del Sur. This shows that logging activities are rampant in this side of Mindanao.

In reports last year, logging activities are found to be part of the activities of large-scale mining in Mindanao, this as part of its clearing operations for its exploration and operations. In the two regions hit by Pablo, Compostela Valley and Caraga, eight major mining projects by the government are underway either at exploration or starting to explore.

Indeed, the lessons abound but the learning remains stunted. Considering that the same small handful of feudal clans (including that of the current president) have ruled the Philippine archipelago for more than a century it is likely that the learning challenge is more around a lack of will than a lack of resources.


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119 Comments on "Ph Government pats itself on the back for level of preparedness as Typhoon Pablo batters Mindanao"

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RF Garcia
The NDRRMC keeps talking about zero casualty but as Maceda says in his column today that is unattainable. As of today, the media reports that casualties from Typhoon Pablo may reach 300.Why don’t they just focus on the efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the victims or better still on ways to mitigate the effects of the calamities that befall us regularly? For all we know, BS Aquino will again blame the victims of the calamity for the tragedy that hit them. And of course, he will not fail to blame GMA. Blame her for what? For misgovernance and corruption… Read more »

with 600+ expected deaths/casualties i would classify the response as sorely lacking.
no doubt once the danger is over p-noy and his cohorts will be donning yellow shirts for a victory parade, before starting the serious business of christmas parties. what a shambles. couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery

Thomas Jefferson

From the Philippine Star: “200 bodies found, 500 missing in Compostela” This is just a partial report. There should be immediate disaster relief response with the national leadership leading the way. Many areas need food, water, medical supplies and attention. Many structures need repairs. People are out in the open and exposed to the elements. Why is the government of BS Aquino so slow in reacting? Wake up the sleeping president! Your people do not need epal or tagged names and yellow ribbons on relief packages. They need immediate assistance!

Johnny Derp

Im not going to be surprised anymore if he BLAMES GMA AGAIN for this mess.


Arroyo inutusang umepal ang kanyang mga “allies” sa biktima ng bagyong Pablo

RF Garcia

Ha,ha,ha. Looks like the favorite commentator of GRP, Swagger or Fishball has found more outlandish excuses to shield his boss from any blame. How about blaming GMA for not putting up huge signboards in Mindanao saying “NO ENTRY” for any typhoon planning to pass through Mindanao, or similar reasons that only the yellow mentality can cook up.

Le Derp
Sa totoo lang ang cute ng mga tao nag cocomment dito sa GRP kung maka bully sa isang Pro-Aquino. Paminsan iniisip ko nagfifish lang ng reaction ung mga (would be) Pro-Aquino para me mapagtawanan eh ang tindi mag react ng mga ndi pabor kay Aquino dito, batuhan nlng ng putik. (Most emotional country nga naman) On the topic: The NDRRMC was indeed “more prepared” than the previous typhoons you have to at least give them that. However, plastering it all over the media. claiming that they actually did a good job is disgusting. Its like they want to feel good… Read more »

I always LOL at swagger a.k.a. FISHBALL’s comments. Keeps on spewing lies. All crap and no substance.

This is what we get from brainwashed people. As long they have payday, they’ll keep doing this. They always say ‘F*CK DIGNITY*


Patting them selves on the back,HA! 500+ so far,and the only reason it wasn’t hire was cause it hit during the day instead of 2AM,like last year. get some infra-structure,stop stealing tax revenue might help.


[…] a puzzling juxtaposition: On the same day the news is dominated by the government’s rather odd response to a growing tragedy in Mindanao as well as an impeachment-worthy scandal involving President BS Aquino III’s anointed-by-God […]

Thomas Jefferson
What I would like to see in the future: 1.Disaster management government MOA with major cellphone service providers to coordinate warning signals of evacuation and storm track all over the archipelago. 2. A genuine fast track system(operations process, flow and procedures) of immediate disaster response and relief operations without epal, name tags, yellow ribbons and/or political tags. 3. Public works infrastructure projects in designing and building typhoon resistant concrete structure evacuation centers with storm windows and steel reinforced concrete roof decks instead of the traditional wood frame and steel roofing materials that will be the source of hazards in strong… Read more »

yung sense of awareness ng mga tao sa mindanao ngayon eh much better compare before, and they learned a lots from the previous storm they undergo. but sad to say local government preparation was not enough and lack of anticipation sa elevation ng mga relocation sites. dapat maging wise na mga tao sa mindanao kung sino ang dapat iboto at wag ng pauto sa mga namumuno na may bahid dilaw ang pag iisip (dilaw eh nana = salot at pahirap sa bayan)


Nakow! Damage control na naman etong mga alipores ni panot!

Hanggang showbiz at pa-pogi lang talaga magaling sila panot. Itinatago ng ABS-CBN yung buong katotohanan–Puro lang pagpapaganda ng imahe nila Roxas at nila AbNoy ang mas importante sa kanila..tsk tsk tsk. Pero pagka nakapunta ka sa ibang news media, tulad ng sa GMA, kitang-kita kapalpakan nila AbNoy.

Dapat itambak ang mga bangkay sa ibabaw ni AbNoy habang siya’y natutulog! Mas nabubulok si AbNoy kaysa sa kanila.

Hyden Toro

Where is that idiot Aquino, in this time of typhoon disaster. He is again hiding, like when the Chinese Hostages, were murdered in Luneta. When there is a crisis: Aquino hides, and is suffering from Anxiety and Panic Attacks. He is afraid to face crisis. if there is a war, he will be the first to run away…TSOPE AQUINO…


The usual platitudes and false promises mean nothing from p-noy and his incompetents.
It is disgraceful that nothing is learnt or done to mitigate the impact of disasters.
Same old, same old.
Less politicking, videoke nights and more working would be a start but everything is so far above his competence level he is about as much use as a blind guide-dog.
even bloomberg has said how badly the govt has responded.


Politicians are those who have either failed in life, or are too lazy to try. Either way, nothing satisfying or redeeming about them.
The more corrupt the country/system/institutions, then the more the sh!t rises to the top


The p-noy government isn’t working – literally.
People deserve better than officials getting drunk at night, incapable of work in the day, spending their time on building new houses, socialising, free trips abroad.
Malacanan has become party central. What despicable people, and without any shame.

RF Garcia

Swagger is asking us to donate to the Typhoon victims. I will if his boss will get back the money he donated to the rich country of America for the victims of storm Sandy. If he has so much money(which is actually the Filipino people’s money) to give away he should have some for the victims of Pablo.


the only people to get a pat on the back is oxfam and red cross plus foreign governments donating aid.
as usual this govt can do nothing for itself but stand back and let the 1st world sort out their mess, whilst lawmakers are more interested in going to las vegas on taxpayers money for a boxing match!!