June 20, 2024

The Department of the Interior and Local Government urged local government units to update their disaster action plans and hazard maps to mitigate the effects of the looming La Niña phenomenon.

In a briefing, DILG Usec. Marlo Iringan said local officials must also regularly hold meetings with their respective disaster risk reduction management councils and conduct a La Niña pre-disaster risk assessment.

Kinakailangan din na magkaroon ng close coordination with Pagasa at with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources particularly iyong ating Mines and Geosciences Bureau nang sa ganoon ma-update iyong kanilang mga local hazard maps on rain-induced landslides and floods,” Iringan added.

He also called for an aggressive cleanup of estero and other waterways to reduce flooding as part of mitigation measures under the agency’s “Operation Listo.”

The “Operation Listo” is an advocacy program of the DILG that aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach which institutionalizes local protocols for disaster preparedness, response, and monitoring.

Iringan also cited the need to assess the structural integrity and the capacity of vital facilities such as evacuation centers.

“The specifications must be followed. And these should not be located in high-risk areas as identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR,” he added.

While most LGUs have already established at least one evacuation center, Iringan said the DILG is assessing the need for some areas to have around two to three evacuation centers to accommodate more evacuees.

He also said the use of schools as evacuation centers is only a last resort.

“But in extreme cases where we need to use the schools, we secure permission from the Department of Education,” he added.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. earlier directed LGUs to brace for La Niña, which is expected to bring above normal rainfall conditions in the country. – PNA