April 20, 2024

Department of National Defense Sec. Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. ordered all military camp commanders to take the lead in water conservation amid the El Niño phenomenon. 

Teodoro’s order was in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s directive for government intervention, DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.

The DND chief issued the water conservation order to the military during the second meeting of the Task Force El Niño. 

In the meeting, Teodoro emphasized the need for everybody to support and practice daily the government’s water conservation policy. 

“Sec. Teodoro emphasized the need to repair facilities such as leaking pipes to prevent additional water wastage. He added  all military personnel and their dependents living inside military camps ‘must do their part in the whole-of-government approach to mitigate the El Niño effects’,” Andolong said.

The DND chief said the directive to military camp commanders was issued in compliance with Marcos’ Executive Order (EO) 53 which directs the government to streamline, reactiveate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces under EO 16, s. 2001 and Memorandum Order 38, s. 2019 signed on Jan. 19.

Marcos’ executive order directs the task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize their devastating effects.

The Chief Executive designated Teodoro as the task force chairperson, while Science and Technology Sec. Renato Solidum was designated as co-chairperson.

The President also appointed the following officials as task force members: Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga; Agriculture Sec. Francis Tiu Laurel, Jr.; Health Sec. Teodoro J. Herbosa; and National Economic and Development Authority Sec. Arsenio Balisacan.

As this developed, the OCD, in cooperation with other government agencies, announced it is continuously implementing interventions to strengthen the disaster preparedness of the country.

Among the priorities are ensuring infrastructure resilience and the availability of adequate disaster response resources nationwide.

OCD Administrator, Usec. Ariel Nepomuceno, has directed the regional offices of OCD to ensure the availability of an updated list of critical facilities alongside the inspection report of the integrity of the structures in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways and other concerned agencies.

The memorandum order issued by Nepomuceno to OCD regional directors cited the desired outcome no. 3 of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan 2020-2030 under the Prevention and Mitigation pillar, which states there is a need for an “increased structural integrity of housing, building, and critical infrastructure.”

The OCD chief also instructed the regional directors to submit reports of the available rescue assets but not limited to rescue vehicles like rubber boats, heavy rescue equipment, water filtration machines, and information and communication equipment. – PNA