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…

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

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.

119 Replies to “Ph Government pats itself on the back for level of preparedness as Typhoon Pablo batters Mindanao”

  1. 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 which allowed Typhoon Pablo to sweep through the country?

    1. walang kasalanan si pnoy dito. sinabihan niya na ang ibat ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na maghanda mula sa pagalam ng direksyon ng bagyo hanggang sa pagsalba sa mga kababayan nating nasalanta at nakahanda na ang budget para dito.

      1. Ows? wala raw kasalanan si panot? Kung hindi niya kinansela ang flood control project, hindi aabot sa ganito ang situwasyon gunggong!

        1. hindi kasi para sa baha ang proyektong yan at kukurakutin ni arroyo ang malaking bahagi ng gagastusin

        2. Bawal ang corrupt daw? Eh bakit nahuli si sereno na nagrarailroad ng desisyon? Bakit ilang beses na nahuli ang KKK ni panot? Bakit palaging palpak si aquino hindi ba ang incompetence sign of corruption din?

        3. Swanggit,

          Ano kamo? Basal corrupt as Aquino admin? Bawal bobo dito as Pilipinas! Mag samba kayo ng bobo niyong Presidente sa is ang barko!

      2. Puro depensa lang ang alam mong gawin. Hindi madaling depensahan ang isang PALPAK na pangulo. Sinasabi mong hindi corrupt eh bakit ang DAMI paring mahihirap sa ating bansa? Wag ka nang magreply kung ang ipopost mo lang ay katarantaduhan na tinituto ng boss mong si carandung.

      3. Aha nandyan ka na naman at nagiging malikot na bata ha.
        *sabay palo ng napakalakas gamit ang sinturon kay vincensus ignoramus 100x*

  2. 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

        1. Tutal bobo ka rin naman tulad ng idol mong gunggong. Puro sisi lang ng sisi ang alam pag may kapalpakan

        2. si gloria naman talaga ang may kasalanan sa karamihan ng problema ng bayan. Biro mo 9 years sya sa pwesto wala pa rin nagbago?

        1. ur wrong. Sila ang mga naninira sa aquino admin at sagabal sa pagunlad ng bansa. Para mo na ding ninakawan ang gobyerno

        2. Silent on CJ because Truth Minister Ricky was not able to disseminate the official Palace spin on it to the hired trolls of the MDC. What’s the point of all that new hardware if Noynoy and cohorts waltz through their comedy of errors that only the most yellow do not see?

        3. @Gogs

          Writing an article about the current CJ’s latest scandal would be interesting. It might be a way to better annoy swagfag.

      1. @johnny – I appreciate you think I can do it justice. Anyway deadline for another aspect of my life plus I have other stuff brewing. I am sure there are better legal analysts here to tackle the ongoing stuff. I am more when the dust settles kind of person.

  3. 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!

    1. Antayin muna natin maibigay ni DILG sect. Mar Roxas ang kabuuang ulat ng pinsalang nagawa ng bagyong Pablo bago tumalon sa konklusyon.

    1. Im not going to be surprised either with fishball/whatever the hell name he is using showing his retarded face here and posting retarded propaganda.

    1. @swagger

      GMA simply made a call for the representatives to help out in Mindanao. You like black propaganda lies and blame games. You also like to kiss your great yellow leader on the ass every time.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 for doing a half ass job. (Oh wait this is our government we’re talking about)

    1. That was more the issue I had in mind actually. It is actually quite evident that the level of preparedness was a lot better than it was in previous years. But to actually have to highlight the point in a statement to the media even as casualty numbers climbed upwards of 300 was just bad taste.

      1. The sad thing is, as the death toll rises this government still insists that it has done a good job when in reality they only did a half assed job in preparing.

      2. Particularly since the obviously better level of preparedness was quite visibly undone by other failures of leadership (such as “logging ban”).

        1. Absolutely. The issue goes far beyond the NDRRMC to the BIGGER SYSTEM of macro-level mismanagement of an entire nation by the people and the government that reflects the people it governs.

        2. And to think that there were discussions on the radio this morning about “what if the government criminalizes those who refuse to heed flood warnings, or refuse to go voluntarily/willingly with rescue teams?”

          The rescued will supposedly be bodily dragged out of the rescue site, and then they will be charged with a case. Obviously this doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

          It only shows the depths of stupidity that our society has yet to plunge to.

        1. Riiiiiiiiiiight, this only happened because your BALD president CANCELLED the flood control project. This also happened because your BALD president never implemented his so called “total logging ban”

        2. And before you post another “the flood project was corrupt BS” was it proven that it was corrupted? Was it proven that it wouldn’t make a difference even if it was implemented? You should stop snorting solvent fishball, its not good for the BRAINS.

  6. 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*

  7. 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.

    1. Obvious disconnect in the Palace statement, it seems they’re just ignoring reality. And I bet that Palace statement was realy pre-written before the actual figures came. PR government is really untrustworthy.

        1. So sinisisi mo ang mga namatayan imbes na sisishin ang gobyernong nagkulang sa kanila? Sarap talaga maging UTO UTO no? 🙂

  8. 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 storms. Research the Ivatan system and modern typhoon resistant structures. Adopt the same in one story school buildings that can double as evacuation centers.

    4. Design and create typhoon resistant housing and building infrastructure in the government and private sector with thicker walls, better steel reinforcement and higher concrete mix. Flat, thicker steel reinforced water resistant roof decks are a better option than wood frames and steel roofing. Storm windows should be designed to resist strong winds. Congress should create standards legislation on this.

    5. Coordination with our US allies through the US Embassy in Manila for US aid and assistance. Options to request for aid from the International Red Cross, JICA and other friendly organizations.

    6. Common sense warning published in news, posters or brochures. Example: stay away from glass window panes during a strong storm to prevent glass fragmentation wounds. Symposiums or meetings in local government units on this.

    1. pabayaan na lang nating kumilos ang aquino admin sa mga ganitong kaselan na pangyayari kasi hindi nagkakaisa ang bayan kapag iba iba ang iniisip ng mamamayang gawin.

      1. pabayaan nalang natin magnoynoying ang pangulo tutal wala naman siyang nagagawang kahit ano para sa mga namatayan ngayon.

  9. 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)

        1. utang na loob swagger sukang suka nga ako sa LP pagnakikita ko sa tv mas gusto ko nalang manuod ng CNN, BBC, at Al Jazeera kaysa sa pambobola ng mga idolo mo, takot na mga tao dahil alam nila hindi na sila safe sa lugar nila pagmay bagyo kaya yung sense of awareness nila eh mataas na at dahil wala silang maasahan sa gobyerno kaya kaysa magmatigas eh likas na lang get mo?! yun po yon..

  10. As expected, government is now blaming residents for not heeding requests to leave “high risk” areas.

    That’s fair enough. But do they have to emphasize as in this report that it was “President Benigno Aquino III’s government” that led efforts to evacuate these residents?

    Rescuers on Thursday retrieved more bodies from hardest-hit Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces and six others impacted by Tuesday’s storm.

    The deaths came despite efforts by President Benigno Aquino III’s government to force residents out of high-risk communities as the typhoon approached. Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday directed local executives, police and military officials not to allow those displaced to return to their homes in areas classified as danger zones.

    1. I don’t see why this has to be an issue, or at the very most a coincidence that you made into something more than what it is.

      1. Did I mention swagger or whatever his name is? No, I was talking about benign0 reading too much into an excerpt from the Inquirer.

        1. Actually, Nazism propagates ANTIDEMOCRARIC NATIONALISM.

          So swagger/fishball guy wants us to love our country but wants to take away our rights and freedom. According to Mahathir, there is no real democracy w/o understanding its limits.

        2. Obvious troll is indeed obvious. Just because we agree about what Mahatir said you’re calling us as fanboys? That lame logic is getting very old moron. Because he’s an intellect and knows what’s the real problem about this country and the people like you incompetent simpleton. Or you just can’t handle the truth he says which is why you’re using that lame logic of yours eh butthurt fliptard?

  11. 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.

      1. There are many ways to donate. But not Sagip Kapamilya. Sorry but don’t shove us with your Yellow Propaganda. 😛

  12. 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…

    1. Well this time last year, same story with Sendong. The story going around then was there was no way he wanted to be somewhere with corpses in abundance. Oh well, send Jojo.

        1. You threaten to put us in a reeducation camp? You just confirmed your president is a dictator you dumbass. Besides, I doubt that you would be able to put us all in your stupid camp ya dumb twat.

        2. @swagger

          THANK YOU SO MUCH for validating that there is a dictatorship and that your great leader is for re-education camps! If you equate these camps with show love to your country then you have a seriously sick mind. Word of advice. Do not threaten people out in the open. They might take the law into their own hands.

        3. @swagfag
          Threatening people to be confined to a nuthouse camp is akin to desperation. Wala ka nang mapost kaya ganyan.

        4. How about WE should enlight you? We are GRP LOVE THIS COUNTRY. We’re just pointing out the problems and how we can improve them.

          Thank you for convincing me that Marcos was a better leader. You just want totalitarianism under the incompetent Aquino administration. Lee Kuan Yew as dictator yet he is the man behind Singapore’s rise.

          Sorry, but your efforts to troll are futile. A ‘re-education camp’ means dumbing down the minds of Filipinos. Sarap pala maging BOBO, right? 😀

    2. … wait, he’s tasked to appear in person at each disaster zone so you can bash him for the bland photo-ops and generic preening?

      If you people are being unduly cynical about all this, I guess I’ll be an ass about it too and point to all the ways Aquino is in a Catch-22 of your making.

      1. Well, Noynoy actually is in a Catch-22 situation because he put himself there by running on a no-platform on the basis of his parents’ pedigrees applying a sense of duty to secure his clan’s family jewels in Tarlac.

        So there it is. The realities of the idiotic politics that any Pinoy politician — much more an incompetent one like Noynoy — enters into eyes wide shut.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.