July 15, 2024

With successive typhoons making landfall in the Philippine area of responsibility and the enhanced southwest monsoon, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera is encouraging all barangay officials to be actively present and engaged during natural disasters, including typhoons and weather disturbances, to ensure the safety and welfare of the communities within their jurisdiction as part of disaster preparedness and response efforts of their local government units.

“We are calling on our barangay officials to be present in their respective barangay and actively engage with their constituents to raise awareness about typhoon risks, educate them about safety measures, and encourage preparedness activities such as preparing emergency kits and evacuation plans. When barangay officials actively participate in typhoon preparation, and engage their constituents well, communities are better equipped to withstand the impact of disasters. This leads to greater resilience and a quicker recovery process,” DILG Regional Director Araceli San Jose said.

She said barangay officials, as the government’s frontliners, possess the ability to assist in evaluating the circumstances, organizing available resources, collaborating with higher tiers of government, and delivering prompt information, services and aid to the affected residents.

As stewards of barangays, the leadership and presence of barangay officials during times of adversity hold immeasurable importance, especially when facing the formidable forces of nature such as typhoons and weather disturbances.

“As guardians of our barangays, your active involvement in disaster preparedness and response efforts is instrumental in demonstrating your commitment to the well-being of all the people under your care. Your actions serve as a testament to the values of solidarity, compassion, and unity that define our communities,” San Jose said.

She urged barangay executives to heed the call and ensure their physical presence before and during typhoons and weather disturbances.

San Jose emphasized the importance for LGUs to carry out the Operation L!STO Protocols and diligently enforce them within their areas. The protocols involve a range of measures, including prompt early warnings, creation of evacuation plans, strategic placement of emergency supplies, and efficient coordination with relevant organizations.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of our people should be our utmost priority. It is imperative that we establish and effectively communicate our evacuation plans to the general public. If necessary, it is advised to carry out pre-emptive or proactive evacuations in order to prioritize the safety of our constituents and rescuers,” she said. – Press release