Local governments to
conduct early preparations for disasters
QUEZON CITY, Oct. 15 -- With the increasing frequency and severity of
disasters which the country has experienced in the past years, the
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging all local
chief executives (LCEs) to conduct early preparedness actions to reduce
disaster risks in their communities.
In a directive issued to all provincial governors, city and municipal
mayors, including punong barangays, DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento said
preparedness actions include: creating necessary systems and structures,
institutionalizing policies and plans, building competencies, and
prepositioning equipment and supplies.
“Ngayon pa lang ay dapat handa na tayo sa anumang sakuna at sa panganib na
dala nito,” Sarmiento, who is the also the vice chair for disaster
preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
He said an Incident Command System (ICS) should be established in every
local government unit (LGU) which is to be activated in response to
disasters, and LGUs should hire one Local Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management (DRRM) officer and three DRRM staff, including Barangay DRRM
The DILG Secretary said local execs should also prepare, review and update
their contingency plans which include the following:
- activation of early warning system
- activation of pre-designated evacuation center/s
- evacuation routes/map
- search and rescue
- emergency response
- medical and counseling services
- distribution of relief goods, and
- evacuation center management
He also urged LGUs to review their protocols and policies and issue an
executive order resolution or pass an ordinance to institutionalize
pre-emptive and forced evacuation when a disaster or emergency has been
declared and danger of loss of lives is imminent.
“Kailangan din ang Community-Based DRRM training, simulation exercises at
evacuation drills sa bawat barangay upang masanay sa paghahanda sa sakuna
maging hanggang sa ng mga tahanan o household level,” he said.
More importantly, Sarmiento urged LCEs to stockpile basic emergency
equipment and supplies, purchase and maintain water level and rain gauge
stations, and ensure the installation of signages and markers in identified
hazard and danger zones in coordination with concerned agencies.
In order to effectively implement the above early preparedness actions, he
said LGUs may utilize 70 percent of their Local DRRM Fund pursuant to a
NDRRMC, DBM, and DILG joint memo circular issued earlier on the allocation
and use of the DRRM fund.
Sarmiento further advised the LGUs to use the Operation Listo Manuals
published by the DILG namely, “Early Preparations for Mayors and Critical
Preparations for Mayors” as well as “Checklist for MLGOOs, COPs, and FMs”
for further guidance on the minimum actions to do before, during and after a