Alarmed by the nonchalant attitude of local officials towards disaster preparedness, Provincial Administrator Alfonso “Ae” Damalerio appealed to local government units (LGU’s) to apply their resources and enthusiasm in the same way as drawing up plans for a fiesta celebration or political activities.
Damalerio chided local officials for choosing not to carry out their official responsibilities regarding preparedness but seems efficient in mapping out plans for town fiestas, foundation days, political campaigns and chapel activities.
“Municipal and barangay officials should be aware of their mandate as stated in RA 10121 or Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.”
Much of the responsibility for lowering disaster risk falls to the local government units with risk reduction laws among the best in the world – at least on paper with a financial leeway ofÂ spending 70% of disaster funds allocated for long term spending and 30% for emergency.
Damalerio stressed the importance of a municipal or barangay emergency plan with local officials conscious of their responsibilities when disaster strikes.
Disaster mitigation, preparedness, prevention and response should guide local officials in a worst case scenario pre-planning phase while raising community awareness on potential and existing hazards, vulnerabilities and risks, said Damalerio.
Also, Damalerio underlined the importance for a local blood type data bank that will speed up emergency assistance to residents in need of blood transfusion.
Damalerio advised local officials to be self reliant and not rely on provincial and national assistance since government resources are stretched with disasters hitting the country at a very alarming rate.
Bohol has been hit by typhoons and earthquakes that resulted in loss of lives and properties. Hazard maps show that more than half of the municipalities are prone to landslides, earthquakes, floods and man made disasters. (Chito M. Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)