Baguio disaster plan hangs

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE Baguio City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is seeking the immediate approval of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan of the city with the onset of monsoon season.

CDRRMC action officer and City Administrator Carlos Canilao told media the plan has to be approved by the City Council to gain access to the fund for disaster mitigation and preparedness.

"We cannot use the disaster fund without an approved plan," he said.


He said around P71 million is allotted as calamity fund this year, which is five percent of the annual budget pursuant to Republic Act 11021 or the act strengthening the Philippine DRRMC.

Canilao said 70 percent of the fund will be allocated for pre-disaster activities including mitigation and training for members of disaster response teams and barangay officials.

The remaining 30 percent of the fund will be allocated as Quick Response Fund. This serves as stand-by fund for relief and recovery operations in times of disasters.

He, however, emphasized the formulation of the DRRM Plan is not only to utilize the available funds but also to make a safe and resilient Baguio City.

Specifically, he said the DRRM Plan includes identification of hazards and vulnerabilities; risk reduction and management approaches; and even the roles and responsibilities of the different agencies and all people in authority during calamities.

Canilao said in terms of infrastructures, interventions must be built in the city especially in landslide prone areas to immediately prevent further hazards.

A construction of an evacuation center at Motorpool in City Camp Proper was also included in the city DRRM plan, an ideal site for evacuation and disaster operation, according to the administrator.

Aside from infrastructure projects, Canilao listed food and medicine supplies, response equipment and training for members of the response teams as priorities in the DRMM plan.

The drafted city DRMM plan was presented to the members of the City Council in its regular session Monday.

But councilors shot down the drafted plan citing items to be corrected or improved.

Canilao assured the CDRRMC will consider the comments of the councilors as soon as possible so they may present it again before the City Council on June 23 for approval.

This as Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday stressed the CDRRMC is already acting on a revised plan based on the comments of the members of the City Council.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 20, 2014.

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