HONORABLE SECRETARY ROGELIO LAZO SINGSON;
Department of Public Works and Highways
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Nagagalak akong makasama kayong lahat ngayon sa ating pagtitipon. (Good morning to you all. I am glad to join you in today's celebration.)
Both the Philippines and Japan are disaster-prone countries. The sense of loss and desperation after a disaster is something we want to avoid at all cost. However, disasters can happen anywhere and it's unavoidable.
On the positive side, Japan and the Philippines have learnt how to cope with disaster, before and after. The resilience to pick ourselves from the ground and keep on going, the community spirit like bayanihan, I see similarity in Filipino and Japanese attitude. Also, sharing the same experience creates solidarity.
It is therefore with a sense of solidarity, I am here today to turnover Real-time Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring Systems and mobile drainage pumps.
If you are forewarned, you have a better chance to survive and rebuild. The monitoring system will help reduce cost and time for recovery.
As for the mobile drainage pumps, there are not many manufacturers of such equipment. Necessity is mother of invention. One unit can drain water ten times more than an ordinary fire engine. 75 units were deployed during the Great East Japan Earthquake relief effort. Also, 10 units were sent to Thailand upon urgent request during the 2011 flood disaster.
Investment in disaster preparedness pays. According to surveys, one dollar of disaster mitigation investment can save 7 dollars of damage. It is my sincere wish that the experience acquired through this pilot project will promote public awareness and stimulate further disaster mitigation investment in the Philippines.
Let me conclude my speech by a golfer's motto facing a hazard, "Better safe than sorry."
Maraming salamat po. (Thank you.)