By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY, July 20 (PIA) – Members of the Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (Anopio) had a briefing on disaster risk reduction management under Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Negros Oriental Head Allen Cabaron on July 18 at the PIA-NegOr provincial Information Center.
“Disaster is a reflection of people’s vulnerability,” Cabaron told the members of Anopio.
Cabaron presented to them the framework of a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (DRRMP) that included four components which are disaster prevention, preparedness, rehabilitation and recovery.
“Disasters will only happen if hazards and vulnerabilities meet. It could be mitigated if the local government has the exact capabilities,” Cabaron said.
Cabaron noted that the government cannot do anything with the hazards brought by natural calamities but it can manage the vulnerabilities by crafting a concrete DRRMP.
In crafting the DRRMP, there should be a participatory planning. It is a bottom-up planning approach which involves the community especially the barangay level up to the local government unit (LGU) in coming up with disaster preparedness measures.
The head of the OCD in Negros Oriental said, barangay resident and officials should participate in the planning process since it is them who can identify the risks post by natural calamities in their area.
He also clarified that it is the barangay officials who are the first responders in times of disasters. The LGU comes in as support to the barangay.
Aside from this, Cabaron asks the municipal and provincial information officers, to help in explaining the disaster preparedness programs of the government to their constituents.
“Preparedness is about conducting information campaign, training and equipping the community with knowledge and skills when it comes to disaster response,” Cabaron said.
Also part of DRRM plan is the establishment of Operation Centers during times of Disaster. In Negros Oriental, the towns of Siaton, Bayawan, Dumaguete City and the provincial government that have already established their respective operation centers.
Meanwhile, Cabaron also emphasized that having a DRRMP is essential in keeping the development of a town or city.
“There is a direct link between disaster and development,” Cabaron stressed.
He encouraged municipal information officers to urge their local chief executives to balance development projects with disaster risk reduction management measures.
The Anopio briefing was part of the celebration of National Disaster Consciousness Month which carries the theme “Ligtas na bayan, maunlad na pamayanan.”
Anopio is comprised of information officers from the different towns and cities in Negros Oriental as well as information officers from national and provincial government agencies here. (mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)