IN a move to lessen the effects of calamities in communities, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to train newly-elected Barangay officials in the metropolis on disaster preparedness.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the training will start after the oath-taking of the newly-elected Barangay officials in December.
Apart from the Barangay officials, the MMDA will also train Barangay watchmen.
The MMDA chief said that preparedness must be achieved at the community level to lessen the devastating effects of disasters in their areas.
“Barangay officials are first responders so they must strengthen their capacity to respond effectively to disasters. They will be the our force multipliers,” he said.
Another goal of the training, he added, is for the Barangay officials to be able to impart what they will learn to their constituents.
The MMDA will also take advantage of the training to educate and inform Barangay officials regarding the hazard maps which were distributed to Metro Manila mayors.
The risk maps are visual presentations that enable the users to have a clear picture of an area’s risk to natural disasters.
They also help determine the increasing risks of earthquakes, tropical cyclones and flood scenarios.
Tolentino said the risk maps are crucial in the planning, preparation and assessment of useful disaster risk reduction and management programs in Metro Manila.
A study conducted by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) revealed that in case a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila, around 37,000 people would die.