Only 1 town in Cebu province has ‘true’ disaster office

By Peter L. Romanillos |May 15,2014 - 05:35 AM

SETTING up disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) offices in towns and cities in Cebu will be a priority for Task Force Paglig-on head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr..

Tribunalo said the lack of “true” DRRM offices continues to be the biggest concern of the provincial office as it shifts its focus to disaster mitigation.

Tribunalo, who will assume the post of disaster management office chief today, said most of the province’s towns and cities designated DRRM officers, but lack a “true office with a competent staff.”

Tribunalo said the appointed DRRM officers also function as personnel in other departments of the local government unit doing other duties.

“Out of the 51 component LGUs, I would say that only San Francisco in Camotes Island has an independent municipal disaster risk reduction unit,” he told reporters.

Tribunalo was referring to the “purok system” championed by former San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano which received international recognition for being an effective, community-based disaster preparedness program.

Separate unit

Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 requires municipal and city governments to create a Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) and a separate DRRM unit for every barangay.

Last March, Davide announced that Tribunalo would replace Neil Sanchez as head of the provincial disaster office in order integrate the office with Task Force Paglig-on.

Tribunalo is a disaster preparedness expert, having worked for the United Nations Office for Coordination of Human Affairs.

Tribunalo said he also wants to expand the PDRRMC to include officials from regional line agencies such as the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and Office of Civil Defense.

He explained his plans of setting up a training center focused on disaster risk reduction and management and appoint experts in every local government unit (LGU).

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