• Regional, provincial agencies heighten alert, contingency plans as Storm Signal 2 is raised over Calabarzon


    CAMP GEN. VICENTE LIM, Calamba City, Laguna: Regional and local government agencies heightens alert, contingency preparations and disaster preparedness operations as the weather bureau PAGASA raised public storm signal no. 2 over Calabarzon provinces comprising Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

    In its latest weather bureau bulletin and update as of 11 a.m. on Friday, PAGASA advised residents in low-lying and mountainous areas and localities declared under Public Storm Signals 4, 3 and 2 to be alerted for possible flashfloods and landslides.

    The PAGASA weather advisory also alerted residents living in the coastal areas under the same Public Storm Signals 4, 3 and 2 for possible storm surges.

    Dir. Vicente F. Tomazar, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Calabarzon Chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 4A Regional Director said DSWD IV-A has already recalled all personnel that are outside the area of responsibility as well as personnel attending training and report to the social welfare regional office and placed on standby alert all Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) teams to monitor their respective areas.

    The agency has already pre-positioned standby funds and conducted inventory of stock pile of relief commodities on food and non-food items and ready the availability of Disaster Operation Center, disaster kits, materials, directory of partner agencies and LGUs.

    DSWD Calabarzon has established focal persons in the region per clusters and closely coordinates with the LGUs through the respective local provincial, city and municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (SWDOs) and DRRMCs.

    Particularly, the regional social welfare agency here has identified areas prone to hazards and risk in the Calabarzon five provinces and the stockpiling of relief goods especially those identified landslide and flood prone areas.

    LGUs are also ready with their profiling of families living in areas at risk or in danger zone, determine the number of families at risk or to be affected by disaster and assess their needs and identify list of safe evacuation centers.

    The regional office of the National Food Authority ensures availability of rice stockpile to support area of jurisdiction for two weeks in the disaster operations and open 24/7 its Calabarzon warehouses for emergencies.

    The Department of Health—Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) ensured sufficient stockpiling of medicines and medical supplies and notified all extension offices to be on standby alert.

    The DILG IVA also ordered local barangay officials here to perform their tasks to ensure the full activation of local DRRMCs and disseminate weather advisories to their constituents.

    The DILG officials also stressed the outgoing barangay officials should activate their disaster-preparedness operations especially in the wake of the approaching calamity as their mandate ends Nov. 30.

    Barangay leaders here were urged to closely monitor local DRRMC Operations Center activation and provide updates to the RDRRMC Calabarzon Operations Center.

    PNP Calabarzon Regional Director Police Chief Supt. Jesus Tadeja Gatchalian advised all Provincial Police Offices, City and Municipal Police Stations to monitor the weather situation in their areas and assist the local DRRMCs in the conduct of evacuation and search and rescue (SAR) operations if the need arises.

    Chief Supt Gatchalian also ordered the activation of the regional, provincial, city and municipal Tactical Operations Centers (TOCs) and implement contingency plans with the installation of Incident Command System.

    The PNP Calabarzon has already deployed and pre-positioned SAR personnel and logicstics requirements, assets, medical team and communication team in coordination with the LGUs including assistance in the evacuation centers through security arrangements and tag filing of relief goods.

    The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Regional Office here already alerted all provincial, city and municipal fire stations to assist the local DRRMCs in the conduct of evacuation and SAR operations in their operational areas.

    BFP personnel are placed on heightened alert and ensured the availability of rescue equipment and instructed to closely coordinate with LGUs for possible deployment in their areas, prepositioning of fire-trucks and rescue equipment and close monitoring on the situation in their respective area.

    The Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) reiterated to all operating units and deployed troops to coordinate with the LDRRMCs in their respective areas of operations and responsibility and be prepared during emergencies with personnel and equipment in strategic areas.

    The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office already ordered the activation of the regional and Provincial Command Centers to be manned 24/7 with their agricultural program provincial coordinating officers to closely coordinate with LGUs.

    In coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) price watch and monitoring, the DA provincial marketing coordinator closely monitors prices of basic and prime commodities and positioning of certified palay (rice) and vegetable seeds.

    Department of Energy (DOE) personnel in coordination with the local electric coops and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Southern Luzon also monitor power and electricity supply and ensure sustainable power supply, emergency restoration works and standby generator sets by local coops in case of power interruptions.

    Calabarzon provinces activated their respective DRRMC Operations Center and established their incident command system (ICS) at the provincial, city and municipal levels.

    Provincial and local hospitals are on alert status and both DepEd and barangay officials are now closely coordinating for pre-emptive evacuations in communities at risk.

    All operating units on DRRMCs have been advised to request media assistance citing radio stations Radyo Natin, Radyo ng Bayan and DZJV for communications, broadcast of information and updates purposes.

    Radio Communications group such as the Kabalikat Civicom and Scan International also assured communications assistance and transmittal of information. PNA



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