TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Nov. 16 (PNA) — The European Union (EU) praised the Philippine government’s initial response to the devastation of supertyphoon “Yolanda,” saying Filipino authorities were able to coordinate all efforts coming from here and abroad.
EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who arrived here Saturday, acknowledged the colossal scale of Yolanda’s devastation in the Visayas region, but noted that the Philippine government was quick to coordinate efforts from different relief and recovery organizations.
“But what I see now is a very significant improvement. The government has set up their own coordination team in place,” Georgieva said in an interview at the Leyte Sports Complex.
She said the aftermath of the supertyphoon was so traumatic because it left an unexpected disturbance and gigantic impact on the region.
“And this is a lesson for all of us to recognize that in a world of more frequent, more devastating disasters, we have to continually strive to improve our capacity to mobilize our best people for the most dangerous location,” Georgieva said, adding that the EU had immediately set up a coordination team in the Philippines right after the devastation.
The EU’s humanitarian team is also in the Philippines to develop quick response strategies when huge disasters strike, she said.
“One of the reasons that we are here is because for every disaster of this magnitude, we need to learn on the spot what can be done well and what we can do better,” Georgieva said.
The EU has been in the Philippines supporting the country in relief efforts every year with millions of dollars in contributions, she added.
She also acknowledged that climate change had been affecting every region of the world and the Philippines was not an exception.
According to Georgieva, humanity has to have a mindset of preparedness and prevention and immediate and effective response. (PNA)