UN on RP disasters: Worst yet to come

MANILA, Philippines—Storms worse than “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” will hit the Philippines in the coming years, but the country is one of the least prepared nations in Southeast Asia to cope with natural disasters, a United Nations official warned Tuesday.

Jerry Velasquez, senior regional coordinator of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) agency, said the Philippines was even worse than military-ruled Burma (Myanmar) in coping with natural calamities.

Saying the worst calamities were yet to come, Velasquez stressed: “The period of talking is now over—the time for action has begun.”


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Arroyo orders watch on insurance firms

MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the Department of Justice to prosecute erring insurance companies amid the expected deluge of damage claims in the aftermath of the recent calamity.

Citing figures from the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (Pira), Insurance Commissioner Eduardo Malinis said insurance firms were expecting around P11-billion worth of property insurance claims and another P1 billion for motor vehicles.

“The concern nowadays of many of our people – those whose vehicles and properties were affected by typhoons ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’ – is how to settle their insurance claims at the soonest time possible,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in a briefing in Malacañang Sunday.

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