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Manila, Philippines – The Local Government Academy (LGA) has come up with an enhanced version of the Operation L!STO disaster preparedness manual that provides set of minimum progressive response actions before, during and after the typhoon.  This is the third version of the Operation L!STO manuals which consolidates the Checklist of Early Preparedness Actions for Mayors, Checklist of Minimum Critical Preparedness Actions for Mayors and Checklist for City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, Chief of Police and Fire Marshalls into one reference material.

After three (3) years since its inception and implementation, the LGA saw it fit to revise the manuals based on the actual experiences of various stakeholders in using the manual. “Guided by the National Disaster Preparedness Plan and in consultation with LGUs, national government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector, and academe, we updated the latest edition of the manual to capture the actions needed at various levels of preparedness, including a more comprehensive set of pre-hazard actions”, according to  Executive Director Thelma T. Vecina. 

Series of consultations were conducted to document lessons learned in implementing the disaster preparedness manuals, identify issues and challenges encountered and seek recommendations on the revisions to be made. 

On the enhanced Checklist of Early Preparedness Actions for Mayors, local government units are encouraged to invest on partnership agreement with private and civil society organizations especially on human resource training and capacity building for DRR personnel and volunteers as well as acquiring needed equipment for security, law and order, search and rescue and clearing operations.

The critical preparedness actions which is categorized into Alpha, Bravo and Charlie were enhanced and further divided into four (4) timeframes: upon alert, before, during and after action.  More detailed general progressive actions on preparedness, response and monitoring and coordinating were also added.  One of the more significant changes in the revised manual gives the local chief executives authority for pre-emptive or mandatory evacuation when necessary even if the LGU is still at the Alpha or Bravo alert level. 

The monitoring and coordinating function of the mayor through the local disaster risk reduction and management officer (LDRRMO) with the DILG City/Municipal Local Government Operations Office (C/MLGOO), Chiefs of Police (COP) and Fire Marshalls (FMs) is retained on Part 3 of the revised manual.  The enhanced material also features a more comprehensive reference boxes for Mayors and C/MLGOOs containing a set of tools and policy guidelines on disaster preparedness.

The enhanced manual is DILG and LGA’s offering for each individual and office to be more equipped and knowledgeable on what to do at the minimum to prepare and respond to the challenges brought by weather hazards.  As envisioned by Director Vecina, that “through the manual, LGA seeks the commitment and accountability of stakeholders on the ground, as it works hand-in-hand with the DILG”.

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