PASIG CITY - With typhoons coming in and out of the country, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Local Government Academy (LGA) tap its media partners through a media forum organized on September 4, 2019.  The activity provided a venue to orient members of the media on the department’s DRR-CCA programs to help mainstream efforts on disaster preparedness and risk management as the country continues to brace for more typhoons this year.

DILG Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Communications and spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya underscored the importance of the forum as being timely and relevant and at the same time recognized the vital role of the media in communicating the disaster preparedness actions and risk reduction and management activities being done by the Department.

“We recognize that a responsible media can support the national and local governments in disaster risk management actions. Naniniwala po kami na kailangan ng pamahalaan ang epektibong pakikipagtulungan ng pribadong sector kabilang ang media upang epektibong makatulong sa pangkalahatang paghahanda, pamamahala at pagtugon sa mga sakuna.”

Usec. Malaya highlighted the role of local chief executives (LCEs) and local government units (LGUs) in preparing for disasters in their respective areas. He also called on the government and the media to work hand in hand in nurturing an informed citizenry of the risk and hazards they face in the eye of disaster.

DILG and its role in disaster preparedness

LGA Assistant Director Esmeralda Daphne N. Purnell gave an overview of the Operation L!STO program as well as other efforts in assisting LGUs to reduce the risks and impacts of disasters. She also shared LGA’s initiative with the assistance of GIZ in incorporating various disaster risk reduction strategies into a decision support tool kit that will help LGUs develop the required plans on DRR and CCA.

City Director Silvestre Z. Barrameda, Jr. of DILG San Juan, on the other hand, introduced the enhanced Operation L!STO manual which does not only provide a preparedness checklist for city and municipal mayors, DILG field officers, chiefs of policies and fire marshals, but now provides the authority to the LCEs to undertake pre-emptive or mandatory evacuation if deemed necessary.  Other progressive actions on preparedness and response that LGUs need to undertake depending on the 3 Alert Levels Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, are also included in the enhanced manual.

Dir. Edgar Allan B. Tabell, Director of the DILG – Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center (CODIX) was also in attendance to brief the media on the Department’s initiatives in capacitating LGUs on the management of the dead and the missing in the event of a disaster.

Providing timely and relevant information on disaster preparedness and risk reduction and management

There is no denying that the country has been under constant threat of disasters, ranking 3rd under the 2018 World Risk Index of most disaster-prone countries in the world. Our previous experiences show that the lack of awareness and communication has cost the country and its people severe consequences.

And by looking back and taking lessons from previous experiences, the country has been on the move to proactively address the continuing threats of disasters (both natural and human-induced) by putting in place appropriate policies, structures, and programs needed to develop disaster-ready and resilient communities.

An equally important factor in the success of all DRR and CCA programs is establishing awareness among the citizenry and key stakeholders and this is where the vital role of the media comes in.


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