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OCD: We now have a proactive approach against disaster


“We now have a proactive approach on all phases of disaster management that would save many lives and properties”. This is the bold declaration of Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) IX Regional Director Adriano D., Fuego during an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Director Fuego is referring to Republic Act 10121, otherwise known as the Philippine Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which replaced the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Fuego explained the big difference between the two.

“Dati, with the NDCC, masyado tayong reactive. Kasi ang focus natin is with the response sa mga disasters. But, with  the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, we are now  proactive because ang operation natin covers preparation, prevention, mitigation, response, and even rehabilitation and recovery. Mas malawak an gating function ngaun”, Fuego pointed.

Fuego stressed that all this will now be possible as more funds can be utilized for risk reduction and management activities mandated by the new law.
“Under the new law, the local government units are mandated to utilize their 5% calamity fund for preparedness activities like trainings and capability upgrading”, he said.

He also pointed that there will be a vast improvement in the total operations of the NDRRMC because the work is now directly relegated to the local government.

“Localized na ang function kasi each LGU is mandated to establish their own Local Risk Reduction and Management Office which will that will act as secretariat and at the same time, executive arm ng local disaster risk reduction and management council, which is in the provincial, municipal and city level”, he furthered.

Fuego noted that it does not end there.

“From local government level, the law should also be implemented to the barangay level with the establishment of the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee”, he added.

Fuego also stressed that with this set up, disaster preparedness and response will be much effective and efficient.

“Di na nila kailangang hintayin kung ano order sa taas. They will have to address the problem depending on their situation and what they deem is right to do”, he said.

Since it’s mandated by the law, Dir. Fuego said the Local Risk Reduction and Management Office will now be a permanent office under the local government and not just a special office.

“What’s nice about this law is magiging permanent office na ang Local Risk Reduction and Management Office, with personnel holding plantilla positions. Hindi sila co-terminus with the local chief executive”, Fuego shared.

The new office will be manned by 4 personnel, with the Risk Reduction and Management Officer as its head, and 3 staff which will be in charge of the administrative and training, research and planning, and finally, the operations and warning.

Director Fuego stressed that for this to be fully and effectively implemented, the local government units should observe full compliance of the law.
“We expect that all LGUs will strictly comply with the law’s mandate. After all, this is intended for the safety of our people and, if possible, avoid loss of lives and properties during disasters”, Fuego stressed. (PIA-ZC/MV Cajulao)

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