DEATH TOLL, AS OF NOV. 20, 4,011

Tacloban City proposed as global center for climate change

"I have recommended to make Tacloban City as global center for climate change because I think Tacloban City is the first victim of climate change not being addressed effectively," Architect Jun Palafox said on Wednesday during the media forum in San Juan City.

ALSO: Palace: No politics in relief distribution

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda made the clarification amid earlier reports of differences between President Aquino and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez. "The efforts in Tacloban have benefited all. I mean, if you see Tacloban is the center of the all the relief efforts…Mayor Alfred Romualdez does not belong to the same party. So anong politika dito? Lahat tinutulungan down to the barangay level. We've reached all the 40 towns of Leyte. So, ano ang ibig sabihin ng pino-politicize dito? In fact, we're saying, Secretary Dinky Soliman has, in fact, just mentioned and emphasized that if any barangay, if any person has not been given relief, send us the [details] and… we will make sure," he said.

ALSO: Why no one died on a tiny island in Cebu

More than 1,000 people on a tiny island between Cebu and Leyte survived the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda because they evacuated before the storm hit, according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). All houses on Tulang Diyot just off San Francisco town in Cebu province were destroyed but the island's entire population survived.


Tacloban City as global center for climate change proposed By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated November 20, 2013 - 5:40pm



The devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), are seen Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. AP/Toti Navales

TACLOBAN, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 (PHILSTAR) A renowned urban planner on Wednesday told the national government that it should transform Tacloban City into a global center for climate change.

"I have recommended to make Tacloban City as global center for climate change because I think Tacloban City is the first victim of climate change not being addressed effectively," Architect Jun Palafox said on Wednesday during the media forum in San Juan City.

Palafox said that rebuilding Tacloban City, was literally flattened by super typhoon Yolanda, should be carefully studied to prevent similar devastation and loss of countless of lives.

"We have to take lessons from the mistakes and best pratices elsewhere in the world we can appropriately implement like one siguro we have to collect data na how high was the storm surge. Maybe we may have to locate the new city in a higher ground," Palafox said.

He also proposed to the national government to look into allocating at least 30 hectares of land that could house three evacuation centers.

"Maybe we can start with the evacuation centers. If they have 300,000 people, they should have maybe at least three evacuation centers na 10 hectares each. Because international standards, there should be one square meter of evacuation area for every resident," Palafox said.

He also cited that every evacuation area should be fitted with six facilities required by the land use policy--an emergency clinic, a water station, a food station, an emergency shelter, emergency telecommunication center, and emergency helipad.

"I have been saying this for so many years administration by administration," Palafox said.

Palafox, meanwhile, said he could not yet give a ballpark figure of how much the government would need to spend to remodel Tacloban City.

"I cannot give big estimate until we have finished the assessment cost of reconstructing," he said.

FROM ABS-CBN

Palace: No politics in relief distribution Posted at 11/20/2013 7:50 PM

MANILA - The Palace reiterated that there is no politics in how government has responded to the effects of super typhoon "Yolanda", saying that national government has extended help to all affected areas regardless of political affiliation of local leaders.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda made the clarification amid earlier reports of differences between President Aquino and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

"The efforts in Tacloban have benefited all. I mean, if you see Tacloban is the center of the all the relief efforts…Mayor Alfred Romualdez does not belong to the same party. So anong politika dito? Lahat tinutulungan down to the barangay level. We've reached all the 40 towns of Leyte. So, ano ang ibig sabihin ng pino-politicize dito? In fact, we're saying, Secretary Dinky Soliman has, in fact, just mentioned and emphasized that if any barangay, if any person has not been given relief, send us the [details] and… we will make sure," he said.

"When it comes to tragedy, there should be no politics, and we have exercised that policy."

The Palace also denied President Aquino decided to leave typhoon-hit Visayas and return to Manila because of the Supreme Court ruling that declared the pork barrel system unconstitutional.

Lacierda said he left because he saw improvements in the relief efforts.

"He has expressed confidence in the work that the composite team on the ground has done. Things have turned out better than he expected, that's why tuloy-tuloy na yung pagpasok ng relief goods, that's why he said, I'm confident of the team here."

Why no one died on island in Cebu by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 11/18/2013 8:17 PM | Updated as of 11/18/2013 11:41 PM

MANILA - More than 1,000 people on a tiny island between Cebu and Leyte survived the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda because they evacuated before the storm hit, according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

All houses on Tulang Diyot just off San Francisco town in Cebu province were destroyed but the island's entire population survived.

Alfredo Arquillano, a former mayor of San Francisco, told UNISDR that all the people on the island were brought to safer ground a day before the typhoon hit.

"It was a good decision; it’s fair to say it saved everyone’s life. There is not one house left standing on the island, everything was wiped out," he said in a UNISDR statement.

"It just shows that preparedness pays. We have been working for years on early warnings, evacuations. The awareness level of the community was so high that it went well," he added.

The town, which Tulang Diyot belongs, is recognized by the UNISDR as a role model in disaster risk reduction.

He said they are considering permanently moving the islanders to the main town in San Francisco.

"They shouldn’t go back. While most people understand the risk because Tulang Diyot is so low-lying it is very hard for them not to return as this is their home," he added. “It will be a challenge to try to relocate them somewhere safe and where they can rebuild their livelihoods as fishermen or farmers.”

"We knew we were vulnerable, so we made absolutely sure that everybody knew what to do and where to go," Arquillano told AFP by phone.

Camotes islands, which San Francisco is part of, also fared relatively well during the typhoon.

A storm surge hit all of the islands but only 5 deaths were recorded, according to the latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) death toll from the typhoon, which stands at 3,967 as of November 18.

Arquillano earlier told Agence France-Presse that Camotes residents had been practicing typhoon drills for years.

Other areas that prepared well for the super typhoon, such as Javier town in Leyte; Malapascua Island in Cebu; Albay in Bicol, and Virac in Catanduanes also had no deaths from Yolanda, according to NDRRMC data.

Meanwhile, only one person died on Manicani island in Eastern Samar's Guiuan town where the typhoon first made landfall.

The more than 3,000 people on the island moved to higher ground two days before the Yolanda hit.

n comparison, at least 695 people have died in Tacloban City and 1,060 were killed in Palo in Leyte, the NDRRMC said.

Another 597 people died in Tanauan while 675 lost their lives in Tolosa and Dulag. -- with Agence France-Presse


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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