MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government will give next month one boats for each of 20 flood-prone barangays (villages) to be used for rescue and relief operations in times of severe weather disturbances.
Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered the procurement of the boats as part of the city’s effort to enhance the capability of the city’s flood-prone barangays for waterborne rescue.
The flat-bottomed boats are made of fiberglass and each has a seating capacity of 6-8 six persons and equipped with paddles, helmets and vests.
These will be given to Barangays Bagong Silangan, Damayang Lagi , Del Monte, Doña Imelda, Fairview , Gulod, Mariblo, North Fairview, Payatas, Roxas, San Antonio, San Bartolome, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Monica, Sto. Domingo, Tatalon, Talayan, Damayan, Masambong and Apolonio Samson.
Noel Lansang, DPOS (Department of Public Order and Safety) disaster control division chief, said: “Considering that the barangays are our first line of defense against any eventualities, the city government is making it imperative to pre-position the city’s disaster risk reduction management program in the barangays and in the community level.”
Rescue and disaster response teams from the barangays have participated in a one-day refresher course, supervised by the disaster control division of the local department of public order and safety, on boat handling.
Included in the program are adequate skills on rope rescue operation to effectively respond to search and rescue operations, particularly in times of heavy flooding.
To further level up the locality’s disaster response capability, the Quezon City government has also initiated the construction of three multi-level evacuation centers, funded by the Department of Budget and Management’s P50-million allocation for squatters in three flood-prone barangays and is setting up a fully-equipped emergency operations center (EOC) at the Quezon City hall compound.
Local DPOS chief and local disaster and risk reduction management council action officer Elmo San Diego said the “model evacuation projects” will soon rise in the barangays of Bagong Silangan, Tatalon, and Sto. Domingo, where each of the buildings can accommodate some 500 to 600 evacuees.
The evacuation center for Barangay Sto. Domingo will be built along Araneta Avenue while that in Barangay Tatalon will be constructed along Tagupo Street. There is no designated site yet for the multi-level building for Barangay Silangan refugees.
On the other hand, San Diego said that the EOC will have state-of-the-art equipment, including surveillance cameras, radar, radio and other communication devices as well as a weather monitoring system to capacitate disaster risk reduction managers in adequately responding to various emergencies.