The national government has spent a lot or resources in coming up with disaster maps to guide people to smartly decide, may this guide local governments in their determination of permit issuances in disaster prone areas, especially on no-build zones.
This sums up the statement issued by Bohol Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management (PDRRM) Action Officer Anthony Damalerio over at Kapihansa PIA on National Disaster Resilience Month of July.
Damalerio came together with PDRRMC arm Telephone And Radio Systems Integrated Emergency Response 117 (Tarsier 117) Officer Mark Sidney Du Galia, to appraise Boholanos on the state of disaster response readiness in Bohol.
An island with a limestone base, surrounded by water, well within the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire and slashed by earthquake faults, Bohol is at risk of both natural and manmade disasters, that mitigating the effects to communities has been the proactive direction of the PDRRMC, Damalerio hinted.
With the rainy month of July, the high tides during the month and the typhoons which have been brewing in the Pacific and which bring in rains, some more than the average rainfall, the government has not been remiss in its task to let the communities know about the risks, Damalerio pointed out in the hour-long radio forum on air.
Apart for disaster prevention and mitigation, the recent direction is towards preparedness, response and rehabilitation and recovery.
While the PDRRMC through its implementing arm: Tarsier 117 has been going around Bohol training communities about disaster preparedness, basic life support and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, Earthquake preparedness and response, ambulance operation, much of the risks however can be averted if local government units exercise restraint in granting building permits on identified disaster prone areas, Damalerio said.
There are already identified disaster areas as there are disaster maps already available for local government units, all they need to do is advice people the risks in building over these risky areas, he stressed.
Only very few local government units however have available options for those people whose available lots lie in areas prone to disaster. Such options include barters for lots, adoption of more resilient designs and disaster proofing.
Actually, the LGUs can impose, Damalerio hinted.
He cited the case of the Cong. Natalio Castillo Hospital in Loon which toppled in the 2013 earthquake.
The government has relocated the hospital, but not after several attempts to build, most of the tested sites proved to be Mines and Geo Sciences Bureau (MGB) disapproved as these are on no build zones.
By no-build zones, the MGB meant that the new facility cannot just sit on top of a ground without a good foundation.
In Bohol, especially in rural areas, local government units have been granting permits to build in areas identified as vulnerable to storm surges, flooding, landslides and even in low lying flash flood prone areas or over sinkholes that could subside in the future.
LGUs granting building permits could be criminally and administratively liable for these builds when disaster hits, disaster responders remarked.
Apparently, for the PDRRMO, the government has spent so much to help guide us to be prudent, why not use it? (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)