Issue of July 9, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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OCD says LGUs level up disaster response
by Ofelia C. Empian

Local government units in the region have leveled up their disaster response skills compared to the past years, the Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera reported.

OCD-Cordillera Director Alex Uy said disaster mitigation and response is now part of the plans of each LGU.

During the kick-off ceremony for this year’s National Disaster Resilience Month, partner agencies in the armed forces, emergency medical field, and volunteers showcased their skills in disaster response at the Melvin Jones field.  The demonstrations include simulation of incidences such as removal of victims in landslide and car crash and putting out house fire. The exercises also employed use of trained K9 dogs that marked the whereabouts of supposed victims that would then be extricated by rescue personnel.

“In the demo, they have shown the actual response. Maayos naman pero ang objective natin dito ay i-showcase ang capability ng bawat responder. Marami pang dapat i-improve although scripted iyon pero pwede pang ayusin,” Uy said.

He said Republic Act 10121 or the country’s disaster management law further encouraged each LGU to strengthen their disaster risk reduction and management councils. This includes the crafting of local disaster management plans including year-round training of staff and acquisition of sets of equipment in disaster response.

“If you base that to 2009 to present, mas prepared tayo ngayon. Because of RA 10121, everyone is preparing for the worst case scenario. Look at what happened last year, tinamaan  tayo ng Super typhoon Lawin at in a few weeks we were able return to normal in CAR,” Uy said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief of Staff Romeo Tanalgo, who was the guest during the event, emphasized the value of bayanihan during disaster planning, mitigation and response.

He also stressed the importance of networking not only with various line agencies and the armed forces but volunteer groups as well.

Also, with the unique culture of the region, he said there should be cultural sensitivity training on rescue and disaster planning.

“Aside from the geographical characteristic or situation of the Cordillera as compared to Central Luzon, which is plain, not only do we consider the geographical factor but also the culture. If we look now at Marawi City there are some cultural sensitivities we need to address.What might be applicable in dealing with the community here might not be applicable in some areas,” Tanalgo said.


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