Philippines

PDDRMO Southern Leyte adds three more clusters for disaster response

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By Erna S. Gorne

MAASIN CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Southern Leyte has strengthened its disaster response efforts as it add three more clusters that will respond to the needs of the people that needs more attention in disaster management.

According to Danilo Atienza, PDRRMO officer, the disaster response has organized additional clusters -- the management of the dead and missing persons, security and camp coordination, and camp management -- on top of the clusters already established in the disaster management plan.

During the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda on November 2013, which claimed thousands of lives, concentration were mostly on the government’s response, recovery and management of survivors, thus, the need to manage the dead and the missing persons, he added.

“Less attention has been given in terms of administration and supervision of the human remains and missing persons,” Atienza said.

He said there is a need to standardize the system of handling the bodies from recovery, identification, transfer and disposal without setting aside the legal requisites and norms and guaranteeing respect for the dignity of the deceased and their families.

While the Security Cluster ensures the security of the belongings of the survivors particularly at the evacuation centers, the said cluster shall be headed by the Philippine National Police, he added.

The third cluster will focus on the camp coordination and camp management which shall be handled by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development, he added.

Atienza emphasized that under the clustering system, the government agencies were organized into clusters that work together toward an agreed/common objectives, namely: Search, Rescue and Retrieval; Education; Water Sanitation and Hygiene; Food and Non-food Items; Internally Displaced Persons’ Protection; Logistics to include warehousing, transportation services, among others; Philippine Humanitarian Assistance; Emergency Telecommunication; and Law and Order. (LDL/ESG/PIA-8, Southern Leyte)