RDRRMC-12 undertakes review of Crisis Manual for Disasters

from Government of the Philippines
Published on 05 Feb 2012 View Original

By Catherine T. Apelacio
Sunday 5th of February 2012

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, South Cotabato, Feb. 5 (PIA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here has met with its technical working group (TWG) over the weekend to review and discuss the Crisis Manual for Natural Disasters.

The RDRRMC chaired by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 12 underscored the importance of reviewing the manual with the TWG in order to come up with a comprehensive regional version of the draft.

The council has sought the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) or protocols of the different member-agencies for submission to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Roy Dorado, OCD-12 assistant regional director for operations presented the draft manual emphasizing that SOPs already practiced by different member-agencies will form part of the regional version.

The SOPs are those undertaken by response agencies immediately within the 72 hours during disasters.

Among those who presented their SOPs were the Philippine Army 1002 Brigade, the Philippine Army 512ECB, 52nd Engineering Brigade, the Philippine Coast Guard, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Information Agency.

Dorado also said under Republic Act 10121 otherwise known as “An act strengthening the Philippine disaster risk reduction and management system, providing for the national disaster risk reduction and management framework and institutionalizing the national disaster risk reduction and management plan,” the local DRRM office can enforce the evacuation of residents living in hazard-prone areas in times of disaster upon the approval of the council.

Leo Chong, chief of Health Emergency Management Staff of DOH-12, in his presentation, cited the importance of defining to what extent and levels of coordination a member agency of the council can offer.

Meanwhile, Jerome Barranco, OCD-12 assistant regional director for administration, who took note of the issues and concerns such as “who takes command and control during disaster and who should be the agency authorized to give information during disasters,” said the Council would resolve these as soon as possible.

Earlier in the meeting, the DILG-12 representative said the agency has already issued a directive to all barangays in the region that in time of disasters “they can give an early warning sign” to all residents at risk.

The Crisis Manual was born out of the directives issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III to the NDRRMC in December last year in the wake of Typoon Sendong that caused the loss of many lives and huge damage to the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

The President’s directives are to issue warning advisories at least three days in advance, to move and transfer assets, including military response capabilities before the warning whenever a typhoon will affect communities at risk and to formulate a Crisis Manual for Natural Disasters.

Dorado also announced that OCD-12 would be spearheading this year a conference-seminar for local chief executives in the region on the utilization of five-percent calamity fund. (CTA/PIA General Santos City)