July 19, 2024

To ensure that local government units are better prepared to respond to disasters, close to 8,000 local chief executives and local disaster managers will be trained on the latest hazard information systems and corresponding warning messages under a P27.383-million joint project of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Science and Technology.
DILG Sec. Eduardo M. Año said the multi-million #Maghanda or Meteorological and Geological Hazard Advisories, Warning and Notifications for Decisive Action project seeks to develop the skills of LCEs, disaster risk reduction and management officers, and municipal local government operations officers in understanding warning messages and planning for appropriate disaster response actions.
“Disaster managers and frontliners have to be on the same page when dealing with disasters, otherwise they will not be able to carry out immediate actions and interventions that are necessary to keep communities safe. Through #Maghanda, we will be able to re-educate our people on disaster warning systems so they will be prepared to act accordingly when disaster strikes,” said Año after the signing of the memorandum of agreement on the #Maghanda project between the DILG and DOST.
Also to be trained under the project are local information officers and disaster first responders from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Among the topics to be discussed during the training are tropical cyclone wind signals, rainfall warning system, gale warning, lightning detection alert system, flood warning system, storm surge warning system, introduction to Philippine Seismic Network, earthquake information, tsunami detection and warning system, landslide, volcano monitoring system.
Several tools will also be explained such as the new DOST-Pagasa website, Fault Finder, and Hazard Hunter.
Under the MOA, the DILG will ensure that LGUs update their DRRM plans along with their multi-hazard contingency plans using the information products, tools and services to be provided by its two attached agencies, Pagasa and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
“We shall also issue a directive that new or succeeding applicants for local disaster risk reduction and management officers from municipal to provincial level will now be required to undergo and pass a qualifying examination that includes response and management of hydrometeorological and/or geological hazards,” said Año.
For its part, DOST will develop and provide learning management system and information, education and communication materials and lead learning sessions for the LGUs and target participants.
It will also oversee the project implementation through and in collaboration with the Phivolcs and the Science Technology Information Institute.
Año vowed to extend the agency’s support to DOST on this project by working closely with Pagasa in monitoring its gains, and providing the appropriate policies to enable LGUs to continue to improve their programs, projects, and activities on disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
He also directed the Local Government Academy and the Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center to initiate the necessary steps to incorporate the gains of Project #Maghanda into Operation Listo Disaster Preparedness Program to ensure its sustainability and continuing improvement.
The #Maghanda project, which will be funded through the DOST Grant in Aid of P25.915M and counterpart funding of P1.468M from Pagasa, will be conducted via the Zoom online platform for the simultaneous learning sessions, workshops and plenary sessions while Canvas will be used as repository of the learning sessions. The training will run for 12 months after the national and local polls.
DILG Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said members of the media will also be among the trainees for #Maghanda being trusted partners in amplifying the government’s message for better disaster preparedness to the people.
“The media play pivotal roles in informing the public of any developing situation at the fastest possible time. Thus, they must be able to understand the information and warning messages from Pagasa and Phivolcs, and be able to accurately laymanize the message,” he said. – Press release