Negros mayors form alliance for disaster readiness

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

SIPALAY CITY -- Mayors of 11 local government units (LGUs) in the southern part of Negros Island on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the creation of the Southern Negros Disaster Management Alliance (Sonedma).

Sonedma aims at helping each LGU-member prepare and cope with disasters.

Held at the Sipalay City New Government Center, the signing rites was attended by mayors Isidro Zayco of Kabankalan City, Agustin Ernesto Bascon of Himamaylan City, Oscar Montilla of Sipalay City, Cicero Borromeo of Candoni and John Rey Tabujara of Cauayan, all from Negros Occidental.


Those from Negros Oriental were Bayawan City Mayor German Saraña Jr., who was elected chairman of Sonedma, as well as Mayor Beda Cañamaque of Basay, Nathaniel Electona of Sta. Catalina, and Alberto Ator of Siaton.

Mayors Ernesto Estrao of Hinobaan and Genaro Rafael Alvarez of Ilog sent their representatives.

The agreement was signed in compliance with Republic Act No. 101211 (the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010).

It states that the LGUs "recognize that by pooling their resources and creating an alliance, their respective constituents will have a better way of preventing, facing and handling any calamity/disaster."

Under the MOA, the member- LGU commits "to allocate 10 percent of the 70 percent of their annual Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund as contribution to a common fund which shall be deposited as a trust fund and shall be exclusively used for common disaster risk management program."

Saraña, who was unanimously elected as the alliance's chairman on Wednesday, said that Sonedma will be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so that it will have a legal personality.

"Sonedma will not only be about dealing with climate change but about each LGU's economy," he said.

Local economies are directly affected during calamities, Saraña said.

Elected vice chairman was Montilla along with Zayco as chairman for planning; Ator, for finance; and Bascon, for logistics.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 05, 2014.

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