The Quezon City government will distribute next month a boat to each of the 20 flood-prone barangays for their rescue and relief operations.
Mayor Herbert Bautista earlier ordered the procurement of the boats as part of the city’s efforts to help the officials of the affected barangays cope with emergencies when hit by extreme weather.
The flat-bottomed boats to be distributed are made of fiberglass. Each has a seating capacity of six to eight persons and is 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.
According to Noel Lansang, chief of the city government’s Department of Public Order and Safety’s disaster control division, “since barangays are our first line of defense against any eventuality, the city government is making it imperative to pre-position the city’s disaster risk reduction management program in the barangays and community level.”
Rescue and disaster response teams from the barangays recently participated in a one-day refresher course supervised by the disaster control division on boat handling.
To further step 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 informal settlers—in three flood-prone barangays.
DPOS chief and city disaster and risk reduction management council action officer Elmo San Diego said the evacuation centers were being built in Barangays Bagong Silangan, Tatalon, and Sto. Domingo. Each can accommodate some 500 to 600 evacuees.
On top of these, a fully-equipped emergency operations center was also being set up at the city hall compound.