BAGUIO CITY : The best way to prevent disasters is to be ready for them. Since each region, province, city or municipality in the country has a distinct landscape and vulnerability, the best disaster risk reduction strategy is to forge stronger ties between the national government and local government units.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo pointed this out in his message read by DOST Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro during the recent Baguio leg of “Iba na ang Panahon – Science for Safer Communities” IEC (Information, Education and Communication) nationwide campaign undertaken in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Montejo said science could be an effective tool in better understanding and improving the country’s planning preparations at the national and local community levels. That is why they are going around the country, engaging local stakeholders in every region for information sharing and conducting solution-seeking workshops that aim to ensure safer and disaster-resilient communities.
With lessons learned from typhoon Yolanda, the DOST came-up with a 4-point agenda to guide community disaster preparedness with its IEC campaign anchored on increasing local knowledge; capacitating hazards monitoring; testing of warning and communications protocol, and building response capability in communities.
Montejo likewise enjoined participants to give their commitment for an alliance so that altogether they could come out with a better disaster plan anchored on accountability and responsibility for the benefit of the Cordillera people.
DILG Regional Director John Castaneda and OCD Regional Director Andrew Alex Uy, in their respective messages, enjoined Cordillera local chief executives and disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) stakeholders for a stronger synergy and cooperation in strengthening their local disaster plans and response strategies and capabilities.
The two-day IEC activity on May 8 and 9, 2014 was participated by around 300 local chief executives and DRRM officers from the different provinces, cities and municipalities in Cordillera.
The participants were given an overview of local geological and hydrometeorological hazards, and the corresponding existing government warning systems by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum and Landrico Dalida of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration, respectively.