The province of Negros Oriental continues to engage the public and the local government units in proactive measures on disaster risk reduction and management after learning from experiences of flooding, tropical storms and earthquakes.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive officer, Adrian Sedillo, said the province has spent more than P100,000 in the procurement alone of heavy equipment over the past three years.
PDRRMC has carried out disaster preparedness trainings and seminars, with the aid of the Office of Civil Defense, the weather bureau PAG-ASA, and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, among others, he said.
The Department of Interior and Local Government is encouraging a wider involvement of the barangays that are the frontliners during a disaster, he said.
Fresh from the “Yolanda” experience, LGUs in the province are more active, participatory and enthusiastic to establish their individual disaster risk reduction and management plans, but he said this has to be sustained because sometimes, some people have a short memories.
Not all barangays in Negros Oriental are equipped with the necessary know-how, skills and even the basics on disaster preparedness and response. Sedillo said he hopes that this will see a positive change in the future.
The PDRRMC is also gearing for the creation of a DRRM office as mandated by Republic Act 10121. The DRRM office, that must be established at the provincial, city and municipal levels, requires a local ordinance for its creation and shall be subsidized by each LGU’s disaster fund.
Negros Oriental has built hundreds of millions of pesos worth of projects aimed at reducing the impacts of disaster, calamities and other emergencies, like flood control measures such as dikes and gabions, and re-channeling of rivers, foot bridges, roads and road improvement projects.
It has also acquired several heavy equipment in the recent years, such as back hoes, graders, bulldozers, road rollers and pay loaders, and plans to acquire next year a man-lift, a forklift and a truck-mounted crane.*JFP