‘Prepare for worst’ –DILG in disaster

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‘Prepare for worst’ –DILG in disaster

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Being in a country that ranks “third in 15 countries with highest risk” to hazards, the Department of Interior and Local Government recommends “preparing for the worst”.

DILG-Bohol Cluster Head Ma. Reina Quilas noted that aside from being third among the countries with highest risk, Philippines also ranks third among the 15 countries most exposed to natural hazards.

“The Philippines is no.1 country visited by wind storm. The country’s geographical location is prone to be subjected to wind storm,”Quilas added.

On this, DILG-Bohol has been conducting rounds of dialogues on Operation Listo—a project of the national government that ensures local officials take the “correct steps” in responding to calamities and its aftermath, and briefings on the disaster preparedness manuals.

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DILG-7 Regional Director Ananias Villacorta emphasized the preparedness of local government units (LGUs) as the new gauge of the efficiency of the officials, especially the mayors.

Their commitment and sincerity in undertaking disaster preparedness can be basis for electorate to choose their leaders in the coming elections, Villacorta added.

The DILG-7 regional director addressed representatives of national government agencies, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, local resource institute, media, and the private sector during the disaster preparedness dialogue at JJ’s Seafood Village yesterday.

Villacorta called on the CSOs and NGOs to get involved in disaster preparedness campaign, and assist LGUs that lag behind amid the climate change.

DILG-Bohol, under Provincial Director Ma. Loisella Lucino, presented Operation Listo—a project of the national government that ensures local officials take the “correct steps” in responding to calamities and its aftermath.

Lucino said LGUs can tap CSOs and NGOs, especially those with programs directly assisting the barangays.

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The DILG provincial director leads the secretariat of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDDRMC) chaired by Gov. Edgar Chatto.

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During the dialogue, Quilas briefed the participants on the checklist of Early Preparations for Mayors and areas for engagement for partners in early preparations.

DILG also conducts similar dialogues at the barangay level and that action plans are customized, considering the varying types of hazards and vulnerability of areas concerned.

Different LGUs also plan to cascade to the barangays, she added.

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As of now, DILG-Bohol intends to furnish the households with information materials such as the Family Guide for Disaster Preparedness in vernacular wherein the NGOs can help in funding the reproduction of the materials, according to Quilas.

DILG-Bohol also campaigns for e-balde—short for emergency balde (pail) to serve as their personal evacuation kits—wherein households are urged to place clothing, some food, water, and other supplies thatfamily members can easily carry to evacuation centers during emergencies.

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Quilas also advised households to place their important documents near the emergency pails so that these can easily be brought with them.

Infra audit is also conducted to make sure evacuation centers meet the standard specifications and can hold the evacuees.

A template for localized notice for suspension of classes is also provided to make it easier for local officials—even barangay captains—to compose the notice and immediately transmit it to the people.

It is also recommended that in the  dissemination of warnings about a coming typhoon, like those through the recoreda, the advisory should have a comparison with the previous typhoons experienced so that the people will have reference or idea what to expect.

Quilas also explained that the stages in early preparations for mayors start from creating structures and systems then institutionalizing policies and plans, then building competencies, and equipping their areas with hardware and supplies.

Three LGU disaster preparedness manuals include those for early preparation for mayors, minimum critical preparedness for mayors, and one for municipal local government operations officers (MLGOOs) chiefs of police and fire marshals.

General actions to be undertaken in the Early Preparations for Mayors include prerequisites of the checklist of minimum critical preparations, proactive actions taken as preparatory and necessary measures to be able to carry out the functions during the critical period when an advisory or alert is issued by PAGASA, things done during “peace time” or when no immediate threat of a disaster (for typhoons and related hazards: during dry season), and actions taken from the requirement of the law and good practices from LGU experiences.

Institutionalizing policies and plans involves establishing linkages and support wherein the mayor can establish a memorandum of agreement between the following–supermarkets for relief goods and other supplies; hospitals for response, use of ambulance and management of injured persons; pharmacies for medical supplies; volunteer groups for mobilization for various operations; transportation groups for mobilization for various operations; telecommunication companies for early warning and use of communication equipment; local construction companies for clearing operations; humanitarian organizations for retrofitting, evacuation centers or structures; faith-based organizations with structures for designated or alternative evacuation centers; and funeral parlors for management of the dead.

Gathered during yesterday’s dialogue were representatives of Process-Bohol; University of Bohol Community Development Foundation; Bohol Electric Cooperative People’s Fair Trade and Assistance Center; parent-leaders of Pantawid program in Clarin, Lila Federation of CSO, NGO, PO; Arco, Inc.; Lila Women’s Association; Women’s group of Sagbayan; Loay Senior Citizens’ Association; Loboc Farmers’ Association; Balilihan Association of Women’s Organization for Development (Bawod); Mabini Federated Women’s Association; Maribojoc Federated Women’s Association; Trinidad Women’s Care; Sagbayan-San Roque Women’s Association ; Bantay Bayan-Bohol; Candelaria MPC; Bohol Integrated Development Foundation (BIDEF); Buswacc, Inc.; Bilar Association of Barangay Treasurers; A2D Project-Ubay; Panglao PIMPC; World Vision Development Foundation in Pilar and Ubay; President Carlos P. Garcia-San Vicente Seaweed Farmers, Gatherers and Dryers Association; San Isidro Barangay Tanods Federation; Sierra-Bullones Association of Barangay Tanods; General Handling Services of Sikatuna; Talibon Farmers’ Association; Rotary Club of Tubigon; Fil. Scandinavian Coop in Valencia; Talisay Fishermen Association of Anda; Blossom of Baclayon; Rural Improvement Club of Batuan; Bien Unido Vendors Association; Cambuhat Enterprise Development and Fisheries Association of Buenavista; Guardian Brothers-Catigbian Chapter; Upper Dela Paz Biodiversity Conservation Association of Cortes; DCFBMC-Danao; BMT Padayon-Dauis; West Poblacion Livelihood Organization of Garcia-Hernandez; Senior Citizens Association of Getafe; Guindulman Fisherfolk Association; and Inabanga Day Care Workers Association.

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