The Provincial Government of Negros Oriental through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recently acquired more equipment as part of its continuing effort to strengthen disaster preparedness in the province.

Among its latest acquisitions are the brand new rescue vehicle and the two rubber boats with outboard engines amounting close to two million pesos taken from the 70 percent of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Fund.

The new rescue vehicle, modified to suit the need for rescue operations, amounted to 1.2 million pesos while the two additional rubber boats with outboard engines cost some 650 thousand pesos.

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo is personally overseeing the on-going effort to enhance the equipage of the provincial government to augment the present capacity of various cities and municipalities of the province.

Governor Degamo said it is one of the main thrusts of the provincial government through the PDRRMC to acquire more and more rescue and heavy equipment as it recognizes the difficulty of some cities and municipalities to acquire them due to limited funds.

“I know that until today there are still some cities and municipalities in the province which do not have sufficient equipment necessary for use before, during and after any type of disaster. I would like for all LGUs to be ready in cases of emergencies,” the governor explained.

The governor said these rescue equipment acquired by the provincial government can be used by other community disaster volunteers who are skillful in the conduct of rescue operations but do have the needed equipage.

This is an established protocol of the provincial government as proven during past emergencies where the community volunteers and personnel of some government agencies were lent the rescue equipment before and during disasters.

“We have already established this system but of course we have to observe safeguards considering that we need to protect our rescue equipment,” the governor added.

He also said that since Negros Island is sitting on the ring of fire, which means the province is prone to all types of hazards including tsunami and volcanic eruption, there is a need to push for various initiatives in order to achieve the goal of zero casualty during emergency situation.

“You name it, we have it. Our province is prone to various types of hazards including volcanic eruption since we are home to one of the 23 active volcanoes in the country,” the governor said.

“Kinahanglan nga mangandam ta especially with our education and information campaigns on top of our efforts to strengthen the equipage of the provincial government,” he said.

The governor also wants everyone to know that this year alone, the provincial government will acquire more life-saving equipment which will amount to over four million pesos such as extricating tools, lifting tools, cutting tools and floating devices, among others.

The provincial government of Negros Oriental according to the governor already acquired so far a total of eleven brand new heavy equipment such as bulldozers, graders, road rollers, back hoes, pay loaders, dump trucks and a tractor head using the PDRRM fund.

Governor Degamo said the acquisition of brand new heavy equipment is primarily intended for disaster mitigation, preparedness and rehabilitation.

He added the Province of Negros Oriental has seen these needs during those times when disasters hit the province within the last three years.

It will also boost the establishment of an engineering mobile team in every congressional district in the province to take charge of the necessary equipment for the various infrastructure projects of the provincial government, the cities and municipalities down to the barangays.

“These heavy equipment are now stationed in the different places in the province which have been used for the implementation of various infrastructure projects such as the opening, improving and maintaining of roads and other purposes which also fall under disaster mitigation and preparedness,” the governor said.

The governor added these equipment are also used to assist the cities and municipalities and the barangays in their respective infrastructure projects particularly on road which is a vital facility for the people in the countryside.

The governor also revealed that three additional brand new equipment will be acquired by the provincial government this year charged to the 2014 PDRRM fund.