‘Learn from San Francisco’

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CLIMATE Change Commissioner Nadarev Saño urged mayors in Luzon to replicate the best practices of San Francisco in Camotes, Cebu in disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

Saño said San Francisco offers at least 10 lessons in climate change adaptation.

These lessons include tapping the “purok” system, the smallest unit in local governance, to educate residents about disaster preparedness.


Saño also raised the need to allot funds or invest in disaster-resilient development planning; building climate-proof infrastructure; and setting up an incident command system.

Saño was one of the speakers during yesterday’s League of Municipalities of the Philippines Luzon Cluster Conference, held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. He spoke on harnessing the capabilities of local government units in disaster risk reduction and management, and climate change adaptation.

Saño lauded the initiatives during the term of Alfredo Arquillano Jr. as mayor of San Francisco.

Under the leadership Arquillano, San Francisco won the United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011. At present, Arquillano is president of Regional Center of Expertise in Cebu.

In 2004, Arquillano used the purok system to implement solid waste management. Later, he tapped the puroks to enable communities to prepare and respond to disasters.

Arquillano told Sun.Star Cebu that the purok is a system by itself. Delivery of public services to the purok is supervised by committees that are responsible for specific programs, like health and nutrition, agriculture and livelihood, education and solid waste management, peace and order, environmental protection, tourism women and children, infrastructure, youth and sports and finance budget and appropriations.

Purok committees meet regularly. Committees are required to submit progress reports to the mayor.

Arquillano said the purok system makes managing the local government unit easier. He said it can be replicated by other local government units.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2014.

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