Issue of July 7, 2019
     
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Baguio DRRM office targets disaster resilient barangays
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Baguio City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office has set its sights on a resilient city by strengthening the first line of responders in case of calamities – its 128 barangays.

Louie Glenn Lardizabal, local DRRM officer 1, said they are focusing on the capacitating, strengthening, and increasing the awareness of barangay officials and constituents to attain disaster resilience, in light of the city’s vulnerability during typhoons and other calamities.

He said they have programmed trainings to firm up the DRRM response and contingency plans of each barangay against any disaster that the city may encounter.

The trainings are ongoing until September, but activities that enhance and build up Baguio’s resilience continue until the end of the year.

Lardizabal said being aware of what to do during calamities is crucial, and government efforts will be useless if members of the community are not ready.

“We cannot really measure preparedness or say we are at this level of preparedness. Ang sa atin is increasing the awareness of our people and the government. Kahit makabili tayo ng mga gamit o sasakyan for disaster management, kung ang mga tao ay hindi nakahanda, ito ang magiging problema natin,” Lardizabal said during the July 4 edition of the Talakayan sa Environment Code radio program.

He said one of their focuses is cascading information and capacities to the barangays.

“Even if the city government has all of these resources and capabilities pero kung ‘yung tao natin sa baba ay hindi naman kaya, mahihirapan tayo (to become prepared) that is why we are focusing on the barangay level, para sila ang partner natin. As we keep on telling our barangay officials and constituents, they know their communities better than us. In case na may mangyari sino ba ang mauunang responders natin kundi ang barangay.”

With July as National Disaster Resilience Month, the city has lined up activities guided by the theme, “Kahandaan sa sakuna’t peligro para sa tunay na pagbabago, such as bloodletting, tree planting, and a fun run led by the city government in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross. Session Road will also be closed for various activities that promote disaster resilience in partnership with the private sector and line agencies.

A weeklong activity is also ongoing at Malcolm Square where agencies under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera laid out informative materials on disaster preparedness.

Technical people such from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-CAR and Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center are also available in the area to answer queries from the public and explain exhibited materials such as the flood and landslide susceptibility maps of Baguio and the Cordillera, science-based information and technologies; as wella as the vulnerabilities of watersheds and corresponding mitigating measures, among others.


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