• Roxas launches new disaster alert system

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    INTERIOR Secretary Mar Roxas 2nd on Friday launched a new centralized alert system that utilizes local strategies for a more effective response during emergency situations such as during typhoons and earthquakes.

    Roxas named the new alert system “Charlie” which he hoped will make disaster preparedness more understandable and available to the leaders and residents of disaster affected areas.

    He said “Charlie” will use the best practices of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

    The DILG aims to provide all local government units (LGUs) with the necessary materials such as landslide and flood susceptibility maps, as well as the flowchart that comes with a manual of operations.

    Roxas hopes the materials would be released by December.

    The protocol is part of DILG’s Oplan Listo, that aims to build the capacities of local government units in preparing for and responding to disasters, anytime and anywhere they may strike.

    Roxas presented a flow chart that will guide town and city mayors in making the “minimum critical preparations” that are translated to step-by-step action during and after disaster strikes.

    “You can treat this as a checklist of what has to be there at the very least. It’s hard to work while confused. The chance of confusion in coordinating disaster response is very high,” Roxas said.

    The signaling alert system of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) will be used in areas to be placed under “Charlie” status if they are exposed to higher risk during emergency situations, Roxas said that before the full actual implementation of this new system, comprehensive pre-disaster risk assessments will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

    “That way, response strategies can be based on the actual needs of specific areas,” Roxas said in the statement. “We also want to harmonize the new system with our local disaster risk reduction and management plans,” he added.

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