By: Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY(PIA) – Officers and Members of the Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (ANOPIO) attended a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Framework seminar to strengthen their role as information disseminators in times of calamities and disasters.
The DRRM seminar, was held at the Provincial Convention Hotel and was part of ANOPIO’s thrust this year in reinforcing their capability in disaster risk reduction and management. It was done in cooperation with the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Negros Oriental.
PDRRMC Executive Director Adrian Sedillo underscored the importance of the information officers in the DRRM setup.
“Our Information Officers have a big role in helping different local focal persons in disaster management in the cities and municipalities. There is a need to equip our information officers so that they can provide accurate information,” Sedillo said.
Sedillo emphasized that the information officers of the different cities and municipalities as well as national government agencies in Negros Oriental can become partners of provincial government in communicating weather advisories from Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and other important information down to the grassroots level of their community.
Participants were briefed on the four thematic areas of DRRM which are prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation. Sedillo noted that Information Officers should be involved in those areas.
The seminar also provided the participants lectures on the concepts of Hyrdo-meteoroligical hazards, earthquake Preparedness and Overview on the Building Emergency Evacuation Plan, the Philippine DRRM System, Geologic Hazards in Negros Oriental/Risk Profile of the Province and Fire prevention and suppression.
Speakers were PAGASA provincial head Neptune Catarata, PHIVOLCS Provincial Head Jose Molas, Allen Cabaron of the Office of the Civil Defense, Ricardo Lorente of the Bureau of Fire Protection and Edith Amiscalay of Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB).
The participants were also asked to identify the hazards in their localities through a workshop. It was later on revealed that the top three hazards in Negros Oriental were flooding, landslide/rockslide and earthquake based on the results of the workshop.
With this, Sedillo hopes that local chief executives, in partnership with their information officers will initiate similar forums in DRRM as part of their preparedness measures.
He noted that the DRRM seminar for ANOPIO officers and members are “opening doors” in bringing down this kind of activity down to local level.
“We are also hoping that our local government units will also conduct the same activity on awareness campaign as part of their preparedness so that there is constant discussion about the things on the DRRM framework and the people could easily understand (the DRRM),” Sedillo said.
The PDRRMC Executive Director advised IOs to propose to their local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils to use their DRRM fund in conducting information campaigns.
Meanwhile, members and officers of ANOPIo were grateful to the PDRRMC for the DRRM Seminar. ANOPIO Vice President Geherlene Mae Rafols noted that the lectures were relevant in their job as information officers.
However, she wishes that the next training will be more in-depth and will involve them in more workshops.
“We think we will appreciate more trainings like these. Workshops are very effective training method in internalizing and learning (the topics),” Rafols said. (mbcn/RAL/PIA7-NEGOR)