The Cebu Provincial Government emphasized its aim to have zero-casualty as typhoon Ruby nears Visayas and Mindanao.
The 600 km-diameter Typhoon Ruby is set to make a landfall in Guian, Samar by Saturday, December 6.
“We really aim for zero-casualty, meaning wala’y masamdan, wala’y mawagtang, wala’y mamatay (no injured, missing or dead), said Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Baltz Tribunalo.
To achieve this, Tribunalo said residents in danger zones, in all towns of Cebu Province, must be preemptively evacuated.
He also added that forced evacuation must be conducted should residents refuse to evacuate.
But forced evacuation must be carefully done so no rights will be violated, said Tribunalo.
“Pugson or pasagdahang mamatay? Pugson na lang nato (We’d rather force them than leave them to die),” he expressed.
To allow families to prepare, Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III announced suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools under Province’s jurisdiction on December 5 and 6, 2014.
He announced this as Capitol officials, regional offices representatives and local government units (LGUs) convened to prepare for the coming typhoon.
Grace Rodriguez, National Food Authority (NFA) acting provincial manager, said express lanes will be placed to prioritize typhoon-related purchases.
She also assured all NFA warehouses in the province will be open and have enough rice supply for everyone.
These warehouses are located in the towns of Santa Fe, Tudela, Bogo and Badian. Warehouses in Cebu City are located in North Relcamation area, Mambaling and Banilad.
Assistant PSWD head Rose Jao said rice, canned goods and noodles are being prepared to augment food supplies in the towns.
Central Command 7 is also now on blue alert with two (2) brigades on standby, said Commodore Bayani Gaerlan.
Cebu Electric Company manager Lowell Belciña also said they have prepared additional orders of electric poles, equipment and vehicles on standby for mobilization.
Town mayors have convened with their local disaster team and barangay officials since Tuesday, Dec 2 to set out and implement preparatory actions as well as identify evacuation centers in their respective towns.
Davide strongly recommended LGUs to start evacuating residents in danger zones today.
But the final decision depends on the local officials as they are the ones on the ground, he said.
“Let’s just expect for the worst maong importante ang preparasyon nato (that’s why all preparations are important),” Davide expressed.