“It pays to be prepared.”
Secretary of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas has emphasized this as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) stepped up preparations leading to the nationwide observance of Disaster Preparedness Week from June 10 to 17.
Roxas will preside at a command conference along with various government agencies on Monday/June 10 at Camp Crame to kick off the week-long activities aimed at attaining “zero casualty” during disasters particularly with the onset of the rainy season.
The disaster preparedness program is focused on thousands of informal settler families (ISFs) living dangerously on or along major waterways and are usually the first casualties during disasters. The government has targeted at least 20,000 ISFs to be moved to on-site, in-city or near-site relocation areas this year.
“Iba na ang handa. Kaya nga kailangang ma-harmonize natin ang mga plano ng iba’t ibang sangay ng pamahalaan upang maiwasan natin ang mga casualty lalo na’t paparating na ang tag-ulan at ang mga bagyo,” Roxas said.
“Ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng paraan para maging handa sa ano mang bagyo at sa ganun ay mailigtas natin sa kapahamakan ang ating mga kababayan,” he added.
On tap during the week are site inspections of identified barangays in six major waterways and flood drills in 16 pilot areas or barangays in the National Capital Region.
The DILG has organized orientation-consultation meetings with officials of 11 cities that are along major waterways for the purpose of reviewing their updated local disaster risk reduction management plans, contingency plans, evacuation plans, early warning systems (EWS) as well as hazard maps if available in some LGUs.
EWS signages in tarpaulin will be prominently displayed along six major waterways, according to DILG NCR regional Director Renato Brion, who led the DILG-NCR Command Conference for ISF Disaster Preparedness Week last Monday.
Brion said the DILG is looking forward to the creation of hazard maps by the NDRMMC Risk Analysis Project and the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) maps.
Those invited to attend Monday’s command conference with the DILG are officials of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, local government units, and national government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology, PAGASA, PHILVOLCS, Department of Health, and Project NOAH.