Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday urged the use of science and technology and innovation, partnered with the right values, in the country’s programs and projects for disaster preparedness.
As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Cayetano emphasized this point during the opening ceremony on Thursday, July 27 of “HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management 2023 Luzon Leg” where he addressed disaster preparedness stakeholders and officials.
With special emphasis on Science and Technology Secretary Dr. Renato Solidum Jr., Cayetano highlighted the event’s showcase of numerous innovative solutions that have the potential to save lives and protect Filipinos from harm during times of disasters and calamities.
“Mr. Secretary, nasa kamay po ninyo na ipaalala sa buong Pilipinas that science and technology and innovation is something we cannot neglect,” he said.
“Looking around, we have all these innovations, but if we don’t have the right values, bale wala,” he added.
To further his point, he cited his home city of Taguig that has done a good job in maintaining the right values amid modernization.
“Ang isa pong tumatak sa amin sa Taguig ay ‘yung pagiging ‘Probinsyudad’ – may magandang ugali ng probinsyano, pero meron lahat ng amenities ng siyudad,” he explained.
Principles, priorities, and prevention
In his message, Cayetano also urged the officials and guests involved in disaster preparedness on principles, priorities, and prevention.
“It’s all about foundation. Hindi po ako naniniwala na may conflict ang pagiging data-driven, science-based, at faith. Ako po ay naniniwalang nagka-come together iyan under GOD’s creation,” he said.
Cayetano highlighted the relevance of Biblical principles such as sowing and reaping, along with the importance of strong foundations, in the context of disaster preparedness.
“Kung tama ang pundasyon mo, the rain will come, the waters will rise, the wind will blow, but you will remain standing. Ganito rin po sa disasters sa ating bansa. If we build our house on sand, the rain will come, the waters will rise, the wind will blow — aanurin po talaga. Talagang sasama sa agos ang ating bahay. Remember y’ung mga klase ng calamity natin ngayon ay ibang klase na po talaga,” he said.
“It is very important that we have at least one department that is fighting for these principles… We are not meant to multitask. We were built to have one top priority. Ano nga ba ang priority natin sa pagiging handa?” he said.
Cayetano ended his message with the assurance that there is a good partnership between the executive departments, the Cabinet, and the Senate in preparing the country for disasters.
“We have a good ally in the Cabinet (referring to Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” C. Abalos, Jr.), and hopefully myself and Senator Pia Cayetano will be a very good ally [in disaster preparedness] in the Senate,” he said.